An Interactive Plant List Model for Bio-retention Facilities: Using the Happy Plant Model to predict preferred plant species

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Vander Veen, Benjamin
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University of Guelph

Bio-retention facilities are becoming an important component of stormwater best management practices. Vegetative health directly affects bio-retention facility success. Bio-retention facilities have characteristically harsh moisture conditions. Credit Valley Conservation is developing bio-retention construction guidelines. Identifying suitable plant species for bio-retention conditions is imperative in doing so. This study aims to use the Happy Plant Model (HPM), an Excel-based model that predicts moisture conditions in bio-retention facilities based on construction design, to predict preferred plant species pre-construction. Through a focused literature review, drought and saturation tolerances were found or estimated. Outputs from the HPM influence the plant species list that is generated. Results show that a preferred plant list can be produced for various moisture conditions based on facility design. With the HPM and Interactive Plant List Model, bio-retention facility designers can predict preferred plant species for pre-construction bio-retention facilities. This study provides a step towards effective bio-retention planting.

Bio-retention, Bioretention, rain garden, infiltration trench, infiltration, plant list, plant health, model, stormwater, rainwater, stormwater best management practices