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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

By Kat Harrold

The American Heritage Scientific dictionary describes biodiversity as, “the number, variety, and variation of different organisms found within a specific geographic region.”  

A biodiverse environment can have both native and introduced species.  A mono-culture of a native species can be just as detrimental as having a monoculture of an invasive species.  The key word in a biodiverse environment is diversity.  For an environment to thrive there must be competition and prey predator relationships to strengthen the key players within that ecology.  

On ground level, efforts to promote biodiversity are typically geared toward enhancing or restoring the surrounding to preexisting environment.  Preexisting elements such as soil and accessibility play a critical role in what species can thrive there.

As a result of development, there exists a lot of fragmented habitat creating connectivity and migration challenges.  Some creative ways that connections can be made between severed environments are wildlife bridges, tunnels, and green corridors.  Wildlife bridges and tunnels serve not only as key instruments allowing safe passage from one environment to the next, they also cut down on traffic accidents.  Green corridors are often an area around a stream left wooded in a heavily developed area.  This area serves as a haven for bird and mammal migration.

While green roofs can provide habitat for biodiversity to exist they often have a similar challenge of disconnect for non-aerial fauna.  To create access to a green roof one option would be to design the building so that it is built into a hill or create a ramp which wraps up the side of the building to the roof.  Terraced landings or steps can also be used to promote access to the roof.  Species and size of fauna depending, green walls consisting of vines can also be a method of access.  





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