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  • Author or Editor: Whitney N. Griffin x
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Phedimus kamtschaticus (Fischer) were grown in three experimental crushed brick-based green roof substrates (GRSs) with increasing organic matter (OM) content (10%, 20%, and 40% by volume) and a commercially available blend, Rooflite®, in single-pot replicates in a growth chamber for 6 months. Three unplanted replicates of each substrate were included in the design and received identical irrigation volumes as planted replicates. Three destructive harvests indicated that increased substrate OM increased plant root and shoot biomass; however, plants grown in Rooflite® demonstrated greater succulence in the second and third destructive harvests despite similar substrate OM content. By the end of the growth study, there was no difference in dry weight accumulation between the Rooflite® and 40% OM treatment despite the difference in succulence between the two treatments. Substrate volumetric water content (VWC) ranged from 22.5% to below 5% during three consecutive periods of imposed water stress with no differences in evapotranspiration (ET), indicating plants were accessing substrate water previously assumed to be unavailable. Cumulative water loss (normalized for plant dry weight) indicated a likely shift into crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) around 60-hour postirrigation. Planted treatments (n = 6) lost more water cumulatively (P < 0.05) compared with the unplanted controls (n = 3), although there were no differences in total water loss between substrate treatments.

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