Stresses on the Vegetation in Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Green Stormwater Infrastructures (GSIs) are typically built for multi-purposes: stormwater treatment and green space. Established vegetation is used to achieve the designed functions. However, plants often fail before established. When plants die, GSIs become a not-so-good sand filter. The main reason is that plants undergo constant stresses: either too wet or too dry. By design, GSIs are flooded during storms. Also by design, the growth media drain & dry out quickly between rain events to make room for next storm. To accomplish this, very porous growth media are used. The extreme variations in soil moisture makes it very hard for any plants to survive. This presentation will review novel technologies that can address this problem by using some of the abundant stormwater in GSIs. By capturing the stormwater, it enhances the stormwater reduction and retention feature of GSIs. In between storms and in drought, the stored stormwater is used to irrigate the plants to ensure their survival.

There are other stresses on the GSI. Soil compaction is a common problem around the GSIs, partially due to the implementation process and partially due to operation. It creates unnecessary stresses for the plants in GSIs. We will also discuss the potential solutions to these stresses.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the importance and the challenges encountered in green stormwater infrastructures
  2. Discuss the stresses in GSIs: soil moisture fluctuation, presence of salt, compacted soils, heat island, drought or any other brought up by the audience
  3. Discussion of the methods and technologies that can help solve the problems with case studies

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