MCK Environnement &
Bryotec: Mosses Culturing; All Photos Courtesy Michel R.
Recreate the Landscape on the Roof
By Michel R. Chiaffredo
Our Earths soils have not always
been here! They have existed for many
thousands of years and the Mosses, throughout this long evolution, have
always been there - persisting and surviving.
is interested in mosses? For many gardeners these insignificant
plants, described as "inferior plants," are limited to decorative purposes
and even then they must not be too intrusive
For others, they must be
systematically destroyed. The reason why most people ignore or even
despise mosses is perhaps either due to their small size or the fact that
they are not edible. Nevertheless, if we look closer, we can realize that
these primitive plants played and play a very important role.
Mosses belong to one of
the largest groups of plants called "Bryophytes" which in our planets
evolution have been among the first to appear on Earth. Unlike algae, which
preceded them and from which mosses have retained many characteristics,
mosses have developed the ability to live on Earth. Before them
almost nothing existed. After them, the appearance of superior plants
arrrived: ferns, plants with flowers, and trees
First to exist on earth,
mosses are sometimes the last to survive when superior plants are unable to
subsist. As such, Mosses well deserve the term of "Pioneers."
Culturing - Biological Crust of Mosses; Right:
Ceratodon purpureus, a
usually a first colonizer of disturbed or newly created
Mosses are able
not only to grow on arid soils (sand, rocky ground, lava, etc.) but also
gradually transform in such a way that, by favoring the humus formation
essential to all growth, they permit other plants to develop. The outcome is
the formation of the Bryophytes pre-sod, mother of our fertile soils.
these observations, a technique has been developed and patented under
phyto-ecological engineering called BRYOTEC Technology. BRYOTEC
Technology is an industrial production of a biological inoculant containing
micro-organisms and bryophytes with a very high productivity level.
It produces biological crusts of mosses which will play a very important
role in ground stabilisation (or engineered soil media stabilisation, if on
the roof), carbon fixation, and nitrogen fixation. Vascular plant
cover is enhanced by the presence of these biological crusts. MCK
ENVIRONNEMENT owns an exclusive license of the patent for the purpose of
pursuing the development of this technology. MCK ENVIRONNEMENT
produces this inoculum which, depending on the objective desired, can be
joined or not to a non-erosive substrate. This procedure offers all
the necessary criteria to install a bryophytic cover in a very short time -
approximately three to six weeks in mild and humid weather.
Greenroof in Aarau, Switzerland - Left: Greenroof; Right Green
Wall - Completed Summer 2003
Its Numerous Uses
Extensive green roofs. The goal is to
install a bryophytic cover on roofs with types of vegetation adapted
to difficult life conditions with minimum or no maintenance at all.
Vegetation with such characteristics are the primary dynamics found in
nature, e.g. Therophytes (annual plants) and pre-sods. BRYOTEC
technology makes possible the production of
pioneer groups essential to the settlement of these roof vegetation types.
This procedure allows the repopulation of plant species in accordance with
natural processes - those which are perennial and which maintain
biodiversity. The ecological chain reconstructed from local species is
environmentally coherent. Mats on which mosses are cultivated and
mixed with seeds of xerophylous plants (those that are adapted for growing
or living in dry surroundings) can be started and subsequently installed on
roofs after proper development.
Sowing sedums sp.
in a mat of mosses for
extensive green roofs.
- The restoration of disturbed natural environnments.
This proven technique is able to rebuild vegetal dynamics identical to the
ones existing before the deterioration of the milieu. To achieve such
results in this case, the biologically inoculated substrate is spread
jointly with a small amount of seeds of presod or sod, previously collected
in the nearby natural environment.
Left: Disturbed land
on seaside cliff in Saint Hilaire de Riez, France; Right: Revegetation
two years later after using
- Vegetation of a particular
mineral by mosses
is also feasable for specific architectural projects (stones used as roof
cover or as vertical walls, for example).
The new Munich Re
office building at 10 Gedonstrasse, Munich, Germany Completed in
Left: Moss Green Wall; Right: Moss Greenroof
- The reconstitution of forest dynamics in
clumps. Instead of hoeing the soil around trees which may destroy a part
of the fine roots so precious for tree life, we
can install mosses. The weeds
rapidly disappear and the trees develop roots directly under the mosses. In
summer, water needs will be reduced to almost non-existent because the
numerous roots allow the plants to meet their needs. We will then have
recreated proper forest floor conditions in the clumps.
clumps atop Trafoplatz, an above underground parking garage in
Baden, Switzerland, four
months after using Process Bryotec Completion: Summer 2003
Photos: October 2003
Biomonitoring. Standardized production coming out of BRYOTEC Technology
is already used with the "bryocaptor" by
laboratories to supervise air quality. As a matter of fact,
certain species of mosses are pollution resistant, capture heavy metals,
volatile organic composites and/or pesticides. Read an abstract
regarding biomonitoring with mosses
addition to the pioneer type Mosses, it would be very interesting to
introduce onto green roofs other plant bioindicators of environmental
quality, e.g. Tobaco (Nicotiana tabacum), Lolium multiflorum, Curly Kale (Brassica
oleracea acephala), Tradescantia. These roofs
would then have an "air sentinel" purpose.
for biomonitoring (Ceratodon purpureus),
ubiquitous bryophyte, with the ability
to tolerate high
heavy metal concentrations
This new BRYOTEC
technology approach has received attention in many countries; the inherent
beauty of mosses is becoming widely appreciated in the establishment of moss
gardens and MCK ENVIRONNEMENT is looking for business partners who will
enable us to develop new markets with this unique and innovative
biotechnical solution. With new partnerships, MCK ENVIRONNEMENT will better
respond to the growing demand for the BRYOTEC technology and help recreate
landscapes with greenroofs.
Mosses Culturing on Volcanic Stone to Right: Revegetation
of a Natural Environment Two Years
After Using the Process Bryotec on a Cliff
in Saint Hilaire de Riez, France.
Michel R. Chiaffredo has devoted over ten years to mosses.
The mastering of
these plants production has already opened very interesting and lucrative
avenues. MCK ENVIRONNEMENT, a small enterprise founded in 1985 by Michel,
helped research works and continues to promote the use and development of
bryo-technologies. MCK ENVIRONNEMENT has already signed research
agreements with the University of Lille II in France so as to continue the
creation of unique products meeting high quality environmental requirements
that favor biodiversity.
MCK ENVIRONNEMENT Process BRYOTEC
F 56190 ARZAL.
Tel: + 33 297 450 571 or + 33 297 450 445
Fax: + 33 297 450 625
www.bryotec.com (under construction)
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