Planting Living Roofs for Native Pollinators (Part I: Sedums) Webpage uri icon


  • Biodiversity was late to develop across North American landscapes. Up until 10,000 years ago, much of the northern half of North America was largely covered in ice and snow. There was a pattern of continental ice sheets advancing and retreating across North America for the past 2.4 million years, acting like a giant biodiversity eraser leaving little but arid deserts in the path of glacial activity. During the Pleistocene Epoch, in the mountainous west, sky islands rose above continental ice fields where mountain peaks formed refugia where some flora and fauna took advantage of the rocky real-estate (Shafer, Cullingham et al. 2010). Although the cultural landscapes we live and build upon today were once buried under miles thick of ice and snow, some of the same plants we find across the west today survived and developed unique relationships with pollinators on these sky islands, including plants appropriate for living roofs. Some geneticists believe that one of the effects of habitat sky islands was concentrated genetic populations of pollinators where these isolated patches resided, and unique mutual benefits developed (DeChaine and Martin 2005).

author list (cited authors)

  • Dvorak, B.

complete list of authors

  • Dvorak, Bruce

publication date

  • December 2021