Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

‘Green wall’ technology could double the plant diversity of the River Thames through London

Date:
September 3, 2010
Source:
The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
Summary:
Only half the number of plant species that could blossom along the walls of the River Thames finds a suitable place to grow, yet this could potentially double with the introduction of ‘green wall’ technology, according to new research.

Only half the number of plant species that could blossom along the walls of the River Thames finds a suitable place to grow, yet this could potentially double with the introduction of 'green wall' technology, according to a presentation at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)'s international conference.

Research conducted by Simon Hoggart and Rob Francis from the Department of Geography at King's College London found that the river holds a much broader range of seeds in its water and sediment than can be found growing along its central London foreshore and embankments. Although the river walls already support almost 90 plant species, many more do not have anywhere to grow because the walls do not provide a suitable habitat.

"As any gardener knows, plants are adept at growing in unlikely places -- between train tracks, shooting up through cracks in tarmac -- but when it comes to the sheer concrete or sheet metal of city river walls, they really struggle to get a root-hold," Simon begins.

Simon is due to begin work with Thames21 trialling cost-effective new technology that has the bonus of not requiring major building works. "We're going to be testing 'green wall' technology which involves attaching specially-designed frames to the river walls. It has previously only been used on dry land to encourage plant growth, but we think it has the potential to double this aspect of the Thames's biodiversity," Simon explains.

Simon's research findings have helped secure funding through a partnership with Thames21 -- a waterways charity that uses volunteers in the city to clean 'waterside grot-spots' and create new habitat for wildlife.

"Although the river is one of the cleanest urban waterways in Europe, the section that runs through London has very little riverbank habitat, so the biodiversity in these areas is much lower than it should be. The embankments are designed to flush water and detritus through London and protect the city from flood," Simon explains. "We found only 53% of the seeds in the seed bank were growing on the river walls. Improving this section of river could have an extremely positive effect for the health of the river, creating a 'green corridor' that would benefit the whole river food web."

Rivers are amongst the most biodiverse landscapes and yet they are coming under increasing pressure from human development. "Demands for clean water for consumption and industry are only going to increase in coming years which is why it is important we keep a regular health check on our river systems and trial new technologies as soon as possible."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). "‘Green wall’ technology could double the plant diversity of the River Thames through London." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100902121218.htm>.
The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). (2010, September 3). ‘Green wall’ technology could double the plant diversity of the River Thames through London. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100902121218.htm
The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). "‘Green wall’ technology could double the plant diversity of the River Thames through London." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100902121218.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

Observation Boat to Protect Cetaceans During Ship Transfer

AFP (July 22, 2014) As part of the 14-ship convoy that will accompany the Costa Concordia from the port of Giglio to the port of Genoa, there will be a boat carrying experts to look out for dolphins and whales from crossing the path of the Concordia. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts

AP (July 21, 2014) New Orleans is the first U.S. city to participate in a large-scale recycling effort for cigarette butts. The city is rolling out dozens of containers for smokers to use when they discard their butts. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

Spectacular Lightning Storm Hits London

AFP (July 19, 2014) A spectaCular lightning storm struck the UK overnight Friday. Images of lightning strikes over the Shard and Tower Bridge in central London. Duration: 00:23 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins