Leaves anatomical and physiological adaptations of Vinca major ‘Variegata’ and Hedera helix L. to specific roof garden conditions
Urban agglomerations create extreme microclimates for plants, in which growth, development and survival means adaptation. Plantations expansions beyond the typical gardens to buildings, walls or other build structures were realized in many cities with a rigorous selection of plant species. Although the number of woody species well adapted to the urban environmental conditions is quite large, few species manage to grow and develop on the roofs. Two species - Vinca major ‘Variegata’ and Hedera helix, regularly used for this type of plantations in Bucharest, were selected to understand their mechanism of adaptation. A comparative study was conducted on these species, growing on a rooftop garden and at the ground level into a typical garden. Both species revealed considerable anatomical differences of the leaves. In addition, physiological determinations revealed a stronger intensity of photosynthesis, an intense transpiration and a lower respiration rate at plants grown in the roof garden.
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