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Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 985; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10040985

Green Roofs and Green Walls for Biodiversity Conservation: A Contribution to Urban Connectivity?

Centre d’Ecologie et des Sciences de la Conservation, Sorbonne Université/MNHN/CNRS, 75005 Paris, France
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Received: 9 January 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biocultural Diversity and Sustainability)
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Abstract

Green roofs and walls have recently emerged as conservation tools, and they offer promising additional opportunities to enhance biodiversity in cities. However, their ecological conditions remain poorly considered when planning wildlife corridors. To discuss the role of vegetated buildings in landscape connectivity, we reviewed the ecological and technical specificities of green walls and green roofs in light of the key factors concerning urban wildlife (patch size, quality, abundance, and isolation). Green roofs and walls show limited patch sizes, distinct habitat quality at the building scale, and limited redundancy of patch quality within the landscape. We also highlight that the abundance of roof and wall patches is often low. Future research is needed to establish if walls can be vertical corridors for wildlife, thereby reducing the isolation of green roofs. We argue that creating 3D ecological connectivity within the city requires substantial modifications of the design and maintenance of existing green building systems. We suggest that research is needed to integrate the biotic and abiotic characteristics of green buildings to make them more closely resemble those of open green spaces. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban biodiversity; green roofs; green walls; species dispersal; ecological connectivity urban biodiversity; green roofs; green walls; species dispersal; ecological connectivity
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Mayrand, F.; Clergeau, P. Green Roofs and Green Walls for Biodiversity Conservation: A Contribution to Urban Connectivity? Sustainability 2018, 10, 985.

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