Living walls (LW) have been widely proposed as a form of green infrastructure to improve aesthetics, energy consumption, and microclimate in urban environments by adding densely-planted vegetation to the outside walls of buildings. Scientific studies using multiple treatments in a single LW face challenges due to the close physical proximity of different treatments, particularly the potential for plants above to influence those below. A study on a west-facing LW was undertaken to investigate 36 unique treatments in Adelaide, South Australia, for nine months. The LW comprised combinations of six native plant species, three soil substrates and two irrigation volumes. The LW consisted of 144 modular trays mounted on a wall in a 12 × 12 grid with four replicates of each treatment. The location of each treatment was designed to account for a cascading carry-over effect that may be present when one plant is placed above another. Carry-over effect of the model designed showed mixed results among the plant groups identified. It was also found that long-form plants can significantly shade smaller plants below them. Experimental research into the performance of plants in mixed species LW should consider the carry-over effect to account for this.
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