Urban Vegetation for Bioretention in Cold Climates: A Short Interval Flooding Test in Finland

Outi Tahvonen, Mona-Anitta Riihimäki

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Bioretention is a method integrating stormwater management and vegetation in decentralized solutions in form of raingardens and swales. Vegetation of a bioretention cell improves water infiltration, but by careful plant selection it can also provide a design element for urban space. In this study a short interval flooding test was conducted to study how urban vegetation stand these conditions. Selected 15 species had three treatments: a) a control group in good nursery maintenance, b) plants in standing water for 3 days and then 6 days without irrigation and c) plants in standing water for 6 days and then 6 days without irrigation. The cycles were repeated through the summer 2015. Plants were measured by size index, shoot and rootsystem dry weight before and after the treatment. Visual features were mapped during the whole experiment. Generally the plants survived surprisingly well in these extreme conditions, and mortality was low. Sorbaria sorbifolia, Syringa vulgaris and Acer platanoides did not stand well the changing conditions. Geranium macrorrhizum, Ribes alpinum and Ribes glandulosum suffered.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBridging the Gap. ECLAS Conference 2016, Rapperswil, Switzerland.
Subtitle of host publicationConference Proceedings. Series of the Institute for Landscape and Open Space, HSR Hochschule fur Tecknik Rapperswil, Nr. 14, Rapperswil
Place of PublicationRapperswil
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication


  • urban vegetation, plant selection, raingarden, storm water, flooding

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