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Research article2007Peer reviewed

Effect of using conventional and controlled release fertiliser on nutrient runoff from various vegetated roof systems

Emilsson T, Berndtsson JC, Mattsson JE, Rolf K


Extensive vegetated roofs are becoming popular as a way to improve the environmental quality of cities. As more vegetated roofs are installed, there is a need for knowledge pertaining to maintenance and impact vegetated roofs have on stormwater quality Our study investigated nutrient runoff, substrate nutrient storage and plant uptake following fertilisation of vegetation mats, shoot-established vegetation systems and unvegetated substrate using three levels of fertiliser applied as either controlled release fertiliser (CRF), or as a combination of CRF and conventional fertiliser. Conventional fertilisers caused high nutrient concentrations in the runoff water. Concentrations decreased during the duration of the experiment but at the end of the experiment they were still higher than after fertilisation with CRF. Conventional fertiliser also increased the total nutrient runoff. Vegetation system type influenced nutrient runoff and fertilisation of old vegetation mats reduced the risk for nutrient leaching compared to fertilisation of newly established surfaces. This can be attributed to temporary storage in substrate and increased uptake by vegetation. The temporary storage of nutrients following fertilisation indicated that there might be a risk for prolonged leaching. Thus, addition of conventional fertilisers or nutrient-rich material during production can reduce stormwater quality. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved


Green roof; Roof greening; Sedum; Maintenance; Fertilisation; Stormwater quality; Coated fertiliser

Published in

Ecological Engineering
2007, Volume: 29, number: 3, pages: 260-271