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J Environ Manage. 2018 Jan 15;206:255-265. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.10.001. Epub 2017 Oct 25.

Habitat template approach for green roofs using a native rocky sea coast plant community in Japan.

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Chiba University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 1-33, Yayoicho, Inage-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba, 263-8522, Japan. Electronic address:
Chiba University, Graduate School of Horticulture, 648 Matsudo, Matsudo-city, 271-8510, Japan. Electronic address:


The present study examined whether it is possible to simulate a local herbaceous coastal plant community on a roof, by studying the natural habitats of rocky sea coast plants and their propagation and performance on a green roof. After studying the natural habitat of coastal areas in Izu peninsula, a germination and cutting transplant study was carried out using herbaceous plants from the Jogasaki sea coast. Many plant species did not germinate at all and the use of cuttings was a better method than direct seeding. The green roof was installed in the spring of 2012 in Chiba city. Thirteen plant species from the Jogasaki sea coast, which were successfully propagated, were planted in three kinds of substrate (15 cm depth): pumice, roof tile and commercial green roof substrate. The water drainage was restricted and a reservoir with 5 cm depth of water underlaid the substrate to simulate a similar growing environment to the sea coast. Volcanic rocks were placed as mulch to create a landscape similar to that on the Jogasaki sea coast. Plant coverage on the green roof was measured every month from June 2012 to October 2014. All plants were harvested and their dry shoot weight was measured in December 2014. The type of substrate did not cause significant differences in plant survival and dry shoot weight. Sea coast plant species were divided into four categories: vigorous growth; seasonal change; disappearing after a few years; limited growth. Understanding the ecology of natural habitats was important to simulating a local landscape using native plant communities on the green roof.


Local landscape; Natural habitat; Propagation; Substrate

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