Claire Farrell

Claire Farrell
University of Melbourne | MSD · School of ecosystem and forest sciences

PhD

About

55
Publications
17,192
Reads
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1,235
Citations
Introduction
Claire’s research focus is on using green infrastructure to improve liveability in cities. As a plant scientist, much of her research has focused on understanding plant drought tolerance and water use strategies, to improve survival and stormwater retention in green roofs, walls and urban plantings. Claire’s now researching how fire response strategies can be used to design naturalistic meadow style plantings using shrubs which are managed by coppicing - https://woodymeadow.unimelb.edu.au
Additional affiliations
February 2010 - present
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (55)
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims Green roofs are often installed to reduce urban stormwater runoff. To optimally achieve this, green roof plants need to use water when available, but reduce transpiration when limited to ensure survival. Succulent species commonly planted on green roofs do not achieve this. Water availability on green roofs is analogous to natur...
Article
Green roofs are increasingly being constructed in urban environments to provide a range of environmental benefits. However, little is known about how they will perform in hot and dry climates where water is often limiting and drought tolerance determines plant survival. We evaluated the effects of severe drought (113 days without water) on growth,...
Article
Urban plantings are not only valuable resources for understanding 'urban plant physiology' but are 'living laboratories' for understanding plant response to climate change. Therefore, we encourage researchers who currently work in natural ecosystems to consider how urban plantings could enhance their research into plant physiological responses to a...
Article
***************For full article see Share link: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1f3G%7E5m5d7vr7W*************** Annual plant species have great potential on green roofs as many are highly attractive, fast and cheap to establish via sowing, and can provide rapid cover and growth, which is important for ecosystem service provision. While irrigation i...
Article
Full-text available
Green roofs have the potential to provide socio-ecological services in urban settings that lack vegetation and open space. However, implementation of green roofs is limited by high construction and maintenance costs. Consequently, green roof projects often disproportionately benefit wealthy communities and can further marginalise disadvantaged comm...
Article
Full-text available
Green façades can provide cooling benefits through the shading of walls, evapotranspiration, and insulation. These benefits depend on good plant coverage and tolerance of heat stress. This requires sufficient rooting volume for plant growth and an adequate supply of moisture. On high-rise buildings, plants can be constrained by small rooting volume...
Article
Green roofs are an effective green infrastructure tool to reduce stormwater runoff in cities, but their considerable weight is a constraint on widespread uptake. Consequently, lightweight green roof substrates with high water retention are desirable. Biochar addition to green roof substrates may reduce green roof weight and improve stormwater reten...
Article
Rainfall in cities can generate large volumes of stormwater runoff which degrades receiving waterways. Irrigating trees with runoff (passive irrigation) has the potential to increase transpiration and contribute to stormwater management by reducing runoff received by downstream waterways, but the stochastic nature of rainfall may expose trees with...
Article
Plant health and cover are critical components of stormwater mitigation on green roofs. Green roof plants can be selected from analogous habitats (e.g. rocky outcrops) and/or by using plant traits associated with survival (e.g. succulence). Plants selected for stormwater mitigation should have high transpiration to replenish substrate storage capac...
Article
Green roofs can improve ecosystem services in cities, however this depends on appropriate plant selection. For stormwater management, plants should have high water‐use to maximise retention and also survive dry periods. Plants adapted to wetter habitats develop ‘fast’ traits for growth, whereas plants from drier habitats develop ‘slow’ traits to co...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce the AusTraits database - a compilation of values of plant traits for taxa in the Australian flora (hereafter AusTraits). AusTraits synthesises data on 448 traits across 28,640 taxa from field campaigns, published literature, taxonomic monographs, and individual taxon descriptions. Traits vary in scope from physiological measures of per...
Article
Full-text available
Knowing the abundance of different plant species provides insights into the properties of vegetation communities, such as flammability. Therefore, a fundamental goal in ecology is identifying environmental conditions affecting the abundance of plant species across landscapes. Water and light are important environmental moderators of plant growth, a...
Article
Full-text available
Climate has a significant influence on species distribution and the expression of functional traits in different plant species. However, it is unknown if subspecies with different climate envelopes also show differences in their expression of plant functional traits or if they respond differently to drought stress. We measured functional traits and...
Article
The many ecosystem services that green roofs can provide rely on good plant coverage and plant survival, which is challenging in hot and dry climates. While true succulents like Sedum spp. have been shown to survive well on green roofs, there are limited studies relating individual traits or trait combinations to survival in other life-forms. Succu...
Article
Australian cities have been slow to implement green roofs. This is because there are many potential barriers to their widely acceptance as a nature based solution that can make cities more liveable and help them adapt to, and mitigate, climate change. Due to significant differences in rainfall, temperature, available substrates and suitable vegetat...
Article
Green façades can help to cool cities and buildings best when they are irrigated to provide good canopy growth and transpiration cooling. Irrigating green façades with greywater can reduce potable water demand and make use of building greywater supplies, however, greywater may negatively impact climbing plant growth through salt accumulation. We ev...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying the drought-tolerance traits of plant species originating from a moisture gradient will increase our understanding of the differences and similarities in plant drought tolerance. However, which traits can be used to evaluate drought tolerance remain an open question. Here, we conducted a common-garden experiment on 37 shrub species orig...
Article
Green roofs are expanding internationally due to the well documented benefits they provide for buildings and cities. This requires transferable knowledge of the technological aspects influencing green roof design, particularly substrate properties. However, this is made difficult due to differences in substrate testing methods referred to in green...
Article
Soil water limitations often restrict plant growth in unirrigated agricultural, forestry and urban systems. Biochar amendment to soils can increase water retention, but not all of this additional water is necessarily available to plants. Differences in the effectiveness of biochar in ameliorating soil water limitations may be a result of difference...
Article
Substrate design is important for stormwater retention and plant survival on green roofs. Green roof substrates are mostly inorganic, providing long-term stability, while organic components (<20% v/v) reduce substrate weight and increase water retention, depending on rate and type. Selection of organic components depends on availability and organic...
Article
Soil compaction can be a major impediment to tree growth as it damages soil physical and biological properties and reduces plant available water. This may result in trees that are more vulnerable to seasonal water stress. Improving soil physical and biological properties by increasing soil organic matter content may lead to improved tree establishm...
Article
Full-text available
Aims Green roofs are important novel urban ecosystems, but their shallow substrates can create plant water deficits in dry climates. Physiological approaches can improve green roof plant selection, and shrubs with high drought tolerance and conservative water use under water-deficit should perform well. The water potential at turgor loss point (Ψtl...
Article
While a relatively small body of research links green roofs to psychological benefits such as aesthetic enjoyment and improved concentration, these outcomes are becoming important objectives in green roof design. Claims regarding benefits of green roofs are therefore often derived from research on psychological benefits of ground-level urban greens...
Article
Background and aims: Organic matter is often used as an amendment to attempt restoration of degraded soils to improve tree establishment and growth. One key aim is to increase plant available water in the soil profile. The texture of the soil, the type of organic amendment (e.g. compost or biochar), and the native environment of the tree (mesic or...
Article
Green roofs can significantly reduce stormwater runoff volumes. Plant selection is crucial to retention performance, as it is influenced by how well plants dry out substrates between rainfall events. While the role of plants in evapotranspiration (ET) on green roofs is well-studied, their potential influence on retention via their impacts on water...
Article
Full-text available
The ideal species for green or vegetated roofs should have high water use after rainfall to maximise stormwater retention but also survive periods with low water availability in dry substrates. Shrubs have great potential for green roofs because they have higher rates of water use, and many species are also drought tolerant. However, not all shrub...
Article
Biofiltration systems are highly valued in urban landscapes as they remove pollutants from stormwater runoff whilst contributing to a reduction in runoff volumes. Integrating trees in biofilters may improve their runoff retention performance, as trees have greater transpiration than commonly used sedge or herb species. High transpiration rates will...
Article
Full-text available
Green roofs can be used to reduce the volume of polluted stormwater that is generated by cities. Modelling rainfall retention is critical, but green roof water balance models often rely on the physical properties of substrates. In these models, substrate water holding capacity (WHC) determines the depth of water which can be stored before runoff is...
Article
Green roofs are increasingly being used among the suite of tools designed to reduce the volume of surface water runoff generated by cities. Plants provide the primary mechanism for restoring the rainfall retention capacity of green roofs, but selecting plants with high water use is likely to increase drought stress. Using empirically-derived plant...
Article
Raingardens capture and filter urban stormwater using sandy soils and drought-tolerant plants. An emerging question is whether raingardens can also be used as vegetable gardens, potentially increasing their popularity and implementation. A successful vegetable raingarden will need to both retain stormwater and produce vegetables, despite potential...
Article
The water potential at turgor loss point (Ψtlp) has been suggested as a key functional trait for determining plant drought tolerance, due to its close relationship with stomatal closure. Ψtlp may indicate drought tolerance as plants which maintain gas exchange at lower midday water potentials as soil water availability declines also have lower Ψtlp...
Chapter
The University of Melbourne’s Vision for Education for Sustainability is “To develop graduates who will lead change for a sustainable future” (University of Melbourne 2011). This goal is for all graduates and many aspects of a student’s experiences will cumulatively contribute toward this outcome. While the individual experiences of students will v...
Article
Full-text available
Green or vegetated roofs are increasingly built in cities to provide multiple environmental and social benefits and are an emerging horticultural industry in Australia. Since 2008, researchers at the University of Melbourne s Burnley Campus have undertaken transdiciplinary research developing and evaluating green roofs for southern Australian condi...
Article
Full-text available
Green roofs provide an opportunity to make our cities more liveable by reducing the impact of urban stormwater runoff through the combined effects of substrates (growing media) absorbing rainfall and plants using water. Stormwater retention is determined by substrate s ability to absorb and store water (water holding capacity; WHC) and supply it to...
Article
Plant selection for extensive green roofs has largely been based on cool, temperate climate research. However, as green roof implementation in hotter and drier climates increases, there is a need to evaluate plant performance under these climatic conditions. Succulents have been shown to be successful in hot and dry green roofs, although survival d...
Article
Biofiltration systems are used in urban areas to reduce the concentration and load of nutrient pollutants and heavy metals entering waterways through stormwater runoff. Biofilters can, however be exposed to salt water, through intrusion of seawater in coastal areas which could decrease their ability to intercept and retain pollutants. We measured t...
Article
Living, or green roofs, are increasingly built in cities for their environmental benefits, however there is little evidence about how to maximise their aesthetic appeal. Because preferences for landscapes can be determined by vegetation characteristics we surveyed the preferences of 274 Australian office workers using 40 living roof images which sy...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Stormwater runs off impervious urban surfaces at artificially high rates, and erodes and pollutes local waterways. Raingardens, as biofiltration systems, are garden beds that are designed to capture and filter runoff using sandy soils and resilient plants. For healthier waterways, the construction of raingardens is being actively promoted in many c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
RÉSUMÉ L'adoption des techniques pour le contrôle à la source des eaux pluviales, telles que les jardins de pluie, repose sur la perception des bénéfices par les particuliers. Un jardin potager recevant les eaux ruisselées combine les objectifs de la rétention du ruissellement urbain avec l'intérêt grandissant pour la production alimentaire en mili...
Article
Green roofs in hot and dry climates are frequently exposed to drought due to shallow depth and low water holding capacity (WHC) of substrates (growing media). Water-retention additives have the potential to increase substrate water availability leading to greater plant growth and survival, expanding the range of plant species suitable for green roo...
Article
Seed movements and fates are important for restoration as these determine spatial patterns of recruitment and ultimately shape plant communities. This article examines litter cover and microsite effects on seed availability at a saline site revegetated with Eucalyptus sargentii tree rows interplanted with 5–6 rows of saltbush (Atriplex spp.). As li...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Extended Abstract Raingardens are systems engineered to both filter pollutants from urban runoff and regulate runoff rates, with the potential to reduce urban stormwater impacts on waterways. Raingardens also have considerable value as rainwater harvesting (i.e. water-saving) devices, and as ―green features‖ in urban landscapes. As such, the constr...
Article
Successful revegetation of saline land is dependent on seedling recruitment to maintain vegetative cover for lowering of saline water tables and agricultural production. This paper examines seasonal effects of tree/shrub microsites and leaf-litter on soil conditions and seedling recruitment in a saline grazing system planted with Eucalyptus sargent...
Article
Full-text available
This study describes the physiological response of two co-occurring tree species (Eucalyptus marginata and Corymbia ­calophylla) to seasonal drought at low- and high-quality restored bauxite mine sites in south-western Australia. Seasonal changes in photosynthesis (A), stomatal conductance (gs), leaf water potential (ψ), leaf osmotic potential (ψ),...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The State of Western Australia (WA) occupies one third of the Australian continent. The hydro-climate varies enormously from the tropical monsoon region in the north; through an erratic, semi-arid climate of the northwest and interior; to temperate regions of the south. Most waterways in the State are intermittent, with summer flow in the north, wi...

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Project (1)
Archived project
hydrologic performance of plants with plastic water use strategies