This article was originally published on Journal of Applied Ecology


“Inter-row vegetation in vineyards can help tackle soil erosion without sacrificing the quality of grapes. Associate Editor, Peter Manning (Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Centre) discusses the recent Review by Winter et al., Effects of vegetation management intensity on biodiversity and ecosystem services in vineyards: A meta‐analysis.

When we think of intensive agriculture most of us conjure images of factory farmed chickens or wheat fields spayed with litres of agrochemicals. Few of us, I expect, would think of vineyards, whose image is far more associated with rural idyll and lazy days in the sun. Such perceptions may not reflect the reality of some grape farming; many vineyards are managed intensively, and the inter-row weeds within them are controlled by tilling, mulching and herbicide application. However,  people are questioning the necessity of this vegetation removal and, in the last decade, increasing numbers of the world’s wine growers have promoted vegetation cover in an attempt to combat soil erosion and other problems associated with the bare earth.

What is the impact of these management changes on the biodiversity of these vineyards and the ecosystem services it supports? A recent paper by Winter et al. in Journal of Applied Ecology addresses these questions by performing a global level study that produced general answers…”

Read on at: Journal of Applied Ecology.