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Additional Resources

For additional info, please contact Stephan Brenneisen, Dr. phil Geograph, ZHAW – Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Environment and Nature Ressources, Centre of nature management-Urban Greening, Competence Centre Green Roofs, Gr?ntal, Postfach 335, CH – 8820, email:; or Nathalie Baumann, Dipl. BioGeografin, email:

Nathalie Baumann, MSc / Biogeograph, Research Associate at ZHAW – the Zurich University of Applied Sciences – Institute of Environment and Nature Ressources, Centre of nature management-Urban Greening,Competence Centre Green Roofs, is researching several greenroofs in peri-urban areas in Switzerland. The driver for this research greenroof is improving the Lapwing bird population by increasing biomass and the food base with a biodiversity greenroof.Nathalie says, “Biodiversity Design for Northern Lapwings: 18 circles with roof garden soil (4cm height) and on top of it are placed ?rectangular pieces of grass with soil? (2cm); these circle surfaces are randomly spread on this gravel roof (former or base substrate). And on the top of it we have also put some hay mulch (dried meadow grass). The Northern Lapwings are ground-nesting birds that like open-grassland ? therefore we try to put on this gravel roof some surfaces where some grassland type plants can grow and attract insects. Insects and most of their larvae are the basic food of the Northern Lapwings chicks.”

In general, on a number of green roof locations in peri-urban areas in Switzerland, breeding pairs of northern lapwings (Vanellus vanellus) and little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius) are being observed and investigated. The investigation focuses on how breeding takes its course on roofs, whether chicks can successfully fledge, and, if necessary, how changes in the design of flat roofs can improve fledging success rates.The aim of this research plots with hay mulch is to find out about functioning, use and efficiency of light-weight substrate and its innovation as a cheap sustainable and renewable resource. The use of this kind of substrate allows plant succession and createsdifferent microhabitats for a variety of insects. Hence, these roofs provide suitable habitats for endangered ground-nesting birds to breed and successfully raise chicks.


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