Sustainable green roof ecosystems: 100 years of functioning on fortifications - a case study.
Green roofs have received much attention in recent years due to their ability to retain rainwater, increase urban diversity, and mitigate climate change in cities. This interdisciplinary study was carried out on three historical green roofs covering bunkers in Wrocław, located in southwestern Poland. It presents the results of a three-year investigation of the water storage of these roofs. The study also presents soil conditions and spontaneous vegetation after their functioning for over 100 years. The soils covering the bunkers are made of sandy, sandy-loam, and loamy-sand deposits. This historical construction ensures good drainage and runoff of rainwater, and is able to absorb torrential rainfall ranging from 100 to 150 mm. It provides suitable conditions for vegetation growth, and forest communities with layers formed there. In their synanthropic flora, species of European deciduous forests dominate, which are characteristic of fresh or moist and eutrophic soils with a neutral reaction. Some invasive species, such as Robinia pseudoacacia, Padus serotina, and Impatiens parviflora, also occur with high abundance. Nowadays, historical green roofs on fortifications, although they have lost their primary military role, are of historical and natural value. These roofs can promote the nonmilitary functions of historical fortifications in order to strengthen the ties between nature and heritage. Protecting and monitoring historical green roofs should be included in the elements of the process of sustainable development and the conservation of these structures in order to mitigate climate change in the outskirts of the city. For this, it is necessary to ensure proper conservational protection, which, in addition to maintaining the original structure, profiles, and layout of the building, should include protection of their natural value.