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Article

Vegetation Cover Drives Arthropod Communities in Mediterranean/Subtropical Green Roof Habitats

Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, Institute of Evolution, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa 3498838, Israel
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Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4209; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114209
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
Worldwide, urban areas are expanding both in size and number, which results in a decline in habitats suitable for urban flora and fauna. The construction of urban green features, such as green roofs, may provide suitable habitat patches for many species in urban areas. On green roofs, two approaches have been used to select plants—i.e., matching similar habitat to green roofs (habitat template approach) or identifying plants with suitable traits (plant trait approach). While both approaches may result in suitable habitats for arthropods, how arthropods respond to different combinations of plants is an open question. The aim of this study was to investigate how the structural complexity of different plant forms can affect the abundance and richness of arthropods on green roofs. The experimental design crossed the presence and absence of annuals with three Sedum sediforme (Jacq.) Pau (common name: stonecrops) treatments—i.e., uniformly disrupted Sedum, clumped disrupted Sedum, and no Sedum. We hypothesized that an increased structural diversity due to the coexistence of different life forms of plants on roofs is positively related to the abundance and richness of arthropods. We found that arthropod abundance and richness were positively associated with the percent of vegetation cover and negatively associated with substrate temperature. Neither arthropod abundance nor richness was influenced by the relative moisture of substrate. We also found that arthropod abundance and richness varied by green roof setups (treatments) and by seasonality. Arthropod abundance on green roofs was the highest in treatments with annuals only, while species richness was slightly similar between treatments containing annuals but varied between sampling periods. This study suggests that adding annuals to traditional Sedum roofs has positive effects on arthropods. This finding can support the development of biodiverse cities because most extensive green roofs are inaccessible to the public and can provide undisturbed habitat for several plant and arthropod species. View Full-Text
Keywords: green roof; biodiversity; succulents; vegetation cover green roof; biodiversity; succulents; vegetation cover
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MDPI and ACS Style

Salman, I.N.A.; Blaustein, L. Vegetation Cover Drives Arthropod Communities in Mediterranean/Subtropical Green Roof Habitats. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4209. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114209

AMA Style

Salman INA, Blaustein L. Vegetation Cover Drives Arthropod Communities in Mediterranean/Subtropical Green Roof Habitats. Sustainability. 2018; 10(11):4209. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114209

Chicago/Turabian Style

Salman, Ibrahim N.A., and Leon Blaustein. 2018. "Vegetation Cover Drives Arthropod Communities in Mediterranean/Subtropical Green Roof Habitats" Sustainability 10, no. 11: 4209. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114209

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