Biodiversity of plants and arthropods in key ecological structures of vineyardsof the Alto Douro region


Abstract: Vineyards in many parts of the world can be regarded as monocultures with littleremaining native vegetation, often with a suite of introduced weeds, and having ecosystemservices at a low level. By contrast, the UNESCO designated Alto Douro Vinhateiro Area haslegally protected landscapes and contains a significant area of non-crop habitats (e.g. woodlandremnants, grassy slopes, or terraces with natural vegetation and dry stone walls). In this study, weare measuring the interactions of landscape elements and biodiversity, with particular emphasison natural enemies of the grape berry moth, Lobesia botrana. The study began in May 2010, inthree pilot farms, mostly vineyards with olive groves, under different growing practices. Adetailed inventory was made of the plant communities in key ecological infrastructures, such aswoodland remnants, grassy slopes and borders. In 2010, arthropod populations were sampled byD-VAC suction sampling, yellow sticky traps and pit-fall traps, at various distances into thevineyard from natural vegetation, three times during the year. We present the results of measuresof abundance and biodiversity indices, at 14-18 locations within the farms. These results will leadto improved understanding of the value of different vegetation types, and of cultural practices,interacting in biodiversity and pest management.

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