Lea Böhm, André Krahner, Matthias Porten, Michael Maixner, Juliane Schäffer, Thomas Schmitt

Crossing Old Concepts: The Ecological Advantages of New Vineyard Types

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Ecology

In times of global insect decline, agricultural ecosystems need to be designed in an as insect-friendly manner as possible to halt the progressive loss of biodiversity. This is particularly important for steep-slope viticulture being established on sites with high biodiversity potential. Therefore, we compared different vineyard types (cross-slope with greened embankments vs. down-slope or other types without greened embankments), using wild bees and butterflies as indicators for biodiversity in the lower Moselle region (SW Germany). The numbers of species and individuals in both groups were significantly higher in cross-slope vineyards with greened embankments. This also held true for the number of specialised and endangered species. The communities of wild bees and butterflies differed remarkably between the vineyard types. Three wild bee and five butterfly species were identified as indicator species and hence can be used as such for further monitoring. Our results underline that the structure of steep-slope vineyards has tremendous importance for biodiversity conservation. Since the cultivation of cross-slope vineyards on steep slopes is easier than that of down-slope vineyards, we assume the great synergistic potential to reconcile agricultural use and biodiversity conservation and, in addition, to preserve steep-slope viticulture as a structural element in landscape planning.

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