Chlorophyllocity ~ Ingenuity in Motion

Urban ecology and genius loci, Granville Island (Vancouver, BC)

The old tar and gravel roofs on Granville Island (Vancouver, B.C.) host extensive moss-based communities. Mosses have created an organic substrate up to 8 cm thick, which supports higher plants, including herbs, succulents, ferns and grasses. These communities are completely self-sustaining with no human inputs whatsoever.

From the angle of green roof design and planning, can we learn something from these resilient, regenerative plant communities? This collaboration with Terry McIntosh (PhD) will identify the patterns of spontaneous colonization and natural succession, and summarize the effects that mosses/ bryophytes have on higher plant communities, and their relationship to roof degradation.


Racomitrium elongatum forms extensive coverage of Granville Island's roofscape.