Evaluate the performance of some plants on different substrate types and depths under various drought conditions in the extensive green roof

Document Type : Full Paper


1 Professor, University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran

3 Former M. Sc. Student, University College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran


Because of the extensive green roof and the special conditions of an environment that is created for plants, the selecting suitable plant species to provide the necessary accuracy. In order to introduction of suitable plant species and investigation of effect of the irrigation treatments and the suitable depth and type of medium, the plants were culture in boxes for five months (July - November) and they were placed on the roof of a building. Selected plants including Ophiopogon (Ophiopogon jaburan), Frankenia (Frankenia thymifolia), Carpobrotus (Carpobrotus edulis) were from three different families. They were placed in boxes with 10 and 20 cm deep including the culture medium with and without peat in wet and dry irrigation conditions. The characteristic of plant morphology were appearance, length and surface area, root and shoot fresh and dry weight. Results showed that the highest quality, coverage and length during the three treatment plants beyond to depth of 20 cm, wet medium irrigation and peat medium. It should be noted that the treatment plants with water depth of 10 cm and medium-dry without peat, in the longer time their quality, coverage and length were acceptable.  Since of the extensive green roof system requires minimal maintenance and less deep, this situation can be considered appropriate. In comparing the three plants, Carpobrotus and Frankenia had better performance than the Ophiopogon. The topic of green roofs in Iran is very new so the importance and necessity of this research is quite clear. This research for the first time did pay attention to the green roof and suitable selected plant species for this system in Iran.


Main Subjects

  1. Boivin, M., Lamy, M., Gosselin, A. & Dansereav, B. (2001). Effect if artificial substrate depth on freezing injury of six herbaceous perennials grown in a green roof system. Hort Technology, 11(3), 409-412.
  2. Dunnett, N., Nagase, A., Booth, R. & Grime, J. (2005). Vegetation composition and structure significantly influence green roof performance. In: Proceeding of the third North American Green roof conference: greening rooftops for sustainable communities, 7-10 May, The Cardinal Group, Washington DC., USA, pp. 134-142.
  3. Dunnett, N. P. & Nolan, A. (2004). The Effect of substrate depth and supplementary watering on the growth of nine herbaceous perennials in a semi-extensive green roof. Acta Horticulturae, 643, 305-310.
  4. Dunnett, N. & Nagase, A. (2010). Drought tolerance in different vegetation types for extensive green roofs: Effects of watering and diversity. Landscape and urban planning, 97, 318-327.
  5. Dunnett, N. & Kingsburty, N. (2008). Planting Green Roofs and Living walls (2nd ed.). Timber press, Portland, Oregon.
  6. Durhman, A., Rowe, D. B. & Rugh, C. L. (2006). Effect of watering regimen on chlorophyll Fluorescence and growth of selected green roof plant taxa. Hortscience, 41(7), 1623-1628.
  7. Durhman, A. K., Rowe, D. B.  & Rugh, C. L. (2007). Effect of substrate depth on initial growth, coverage, and survival of 25 Succulent green roof plant taxa. Hortscience, 42, 588-595.
  8. Durhman, A., Van Woert, N. D., Row, D. B., Rugh, C. L. & Ebert, D. (2004). Evaluation of crassulacean species on extensive green roofs. In: Proceeding of 2nd North American Green Roof Conference: Greening rooftops for sustainable communities, 2-4 June, The cardinal Group, Portland, pp. 504-517. 
  9. Getter, K. L. & Row, D. B. (2007). Effect of substrate depth and planting season on sedum plug survival on green roofs. The Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 25(2), 95-99.
  10. Getter, K. L. & Rowe, D. B. (2006). The role of extensive green roofs in sustainable development. Hortscience, 41(5), 1276-1285.
  11. Getter, K. L. & Rowe, D. B. (2008). Media depth influences Sedum green roof establishment. Urban Ecosystems, 11, 361-372.
  12. Hitchmough, J. (1994). Post-establishment management of urban vegetation. In: J. Hitchmough (Ed.), Urban Landscape Management. (pp. 174-186.) Inkata press, Sydney.
  13. Lassalle F (1998) Wrikung von trockenstreb auf xerophile pflaznzen. Stadt und Grun 47(6): 437-443. 
  14. Liesecke, H. J. (2001). Zwiebel- und Knollenpflaznen fur extensive dachbegrunun gen [Tuber plants for extensive geen roofs]. Stadt und Grun, 50(2), 133-139.
  15. Oberdorfer, E., Lundholm, J., Bass, B. Coffman, R. R.,  Dosh, H., Dunnett, N., Gaffin, S., Hler, M. K., Liu, K. K.Y. & Rowe, B. (2007). Green Roofs as Urban Ecosystems: Ecological Structures, Functions, and Services. Journal of Biosciences, 57, 823-833.
  16. Sendo, T., Kanechi, M., Uno, Y. & Inagaki, N. (2010). Evaluation of Growth and Green Coverage of Ten Ornamental Species for planting as Urban Rooftop Greening. Hortscience, 79(1), 69-76.
  17. Scholz-Barth, K. (2001). Green roofs: storm water management from the top down. Environmental Design & Construction, 4, 63-70.
  18. Thuring, C. E., Berghage, R. D. & Beattie, D. J. (2010). Green Roof plant Responses to Different Substrate Types and Depths under Various Drought Conditions. HortTechnology, 20(2), 395-401.
  19. Van Woert, N. D., Rowe, D. B., Andressen, J. A., Rugh, C. L. & Xiao, L, (2005). Watering regime and green roof substrate design affect sedum plant growth. Hortscience, 40(3), 659-664.