Viticultural landscapes are among the most picturesque landscapes, especially, when they consist of a small-structured mosaic of other agricultural areas, hedges and solitary trees. This project investigated effects of different soil management intensities in vineyards on biodiversity, interactions with landscape diversity and associated ecosystem services. Intensively managed vineyards (bare soil), extensively managed (permanent vegetation), and intermediate vineyards (temporary vegetation cover) were studied.
Above- and belowground biodiversity responded differently to soil management in different partner countries. In Romania and France soil management intensity led to decreased earthworm abundance, the opposite pattern was observed in Austria. In Spanish vineyards soil biota occurred in extremely low densities due to dry soil conditions. Overall, results refer to soil-specific, regional patterns that depend on regional biodiversity and landscape impacts. Higher management intensities resulted in lower vegetation cover which decreased earthworm diversity, soil erosion mitigation and carbon sequestration. Floral resources promoted pollinators and reduced soil erosion risk by increasing percolation stability of soil aggregates. Higher landscape complexity increased people’s aesthetic appreciation of viticultural landscapes, plant species richness and compensated for low floral resource availability for certain wild bee taxa. Results might be used to formulate country-specific recommendation aiming for sustainable and biodiversity conserving vineyard management.
The overall beneficial effect of vegetation cover in vineyard inter-rows should be better implemented in agricultural policies which do not support biodiversity and ecosystem service provision sufficiently yet.
Results refer to soil specific, regional patterns that depend on regional biodiversity and landscape impacts.
VineDivers socio-economic results show that an enhancement of biodiversity in vineyards is accompanied by marketing approaches that have substantial economic advantages for wineries.
Establishment of diverse cover crops in vineyard inter-rows could be considered when implementing the EU Biodiversity strategy also on agricultural land.
Less intensive inter-row management also contributes to carbon sequestration and to less CO2 emissions and therefore also contributes to the EU Climate and energy package action and COP21.
VineDivers addresses the three priority areas for EU’s rural heritage: (1) biodiversity and the preservation of traditional agricultural landscapes (2) water management and (3) dealing with climate change.
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.