Enhancing vineyard biodiversity and ecosystem services

There is growing international interest in vineyard sustainability. Agroecologists are working closely with vineyard managers to develop practical methods to enhance key components of functional biodiversity. Pest mortality, vine disease control, weed suppression, reduced water use, soil health, and nitrogen fixation are important examples of the outcomes that can result from ecosystem services in vineyards. This paper will present an overview of work in Australia that is focusing on the use of novel groundcover treatments used directly under-vine and in mid-rows, and on the effects of differing adjacent land uses (e.g., woodland, waterbodies, other crops) and the nature of the wider landscape. Laboratory studies have also quantified the effects of various native and non-native plant species on the longevity and realised fecundity of parasitoid wasps. Such fine-scale studies provide an evidence base for making recommendations to growers regarding the choice of species for use in groundcover seed-mixes, ‘biodiversity islands’ and vineyard-margin plantings. 

Authors: Geoff M. Gurr and Jian Liu

Gulbali Institute, Charles Sturt University, Orange, New South Wales, Australia

Emails: ggurr@csu.edu.aujliu@csu.edu.au

Keywords: agroecology, biological control, groundcover, landscape

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