the study and the management of biodiversity preservation and the maintenance of biodiversity sustainable viticulture practices

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1 1 Layman s Report The LIFE+ BioDiVine project focuses onthe study and the management of biodiversity in viticulture landscapes. The project aims to demonstrate the preservation and the maintenance of biodiversity through the use of sustainable viticulture practices and the set-up, the restoration and the management of agro-ecological infrastructures in the viticulture landscape.

2 2 Presentation of the BioDiVine project Main objectives The two main objectives of the LIFE+ BioDiVine project are: the assessment of biodiversity into vineyard and the influence of landscape organization on its dynamic. the introduction and the sustainable management of different types of landscape features supporting biodiversity. Brief presentation of the project actions The main actions of the BioDiVine project are dedicated to: The introduction and the sustainable management of different types of landscape features supporting biodiversity: vine plots ground covers, hedgerows, screes and low-walls, mating disruption and ground covers in interstitial spaces and uncropped plots. The study of five different taxa (i.e. species group ) into vineyard to assess the benefit of these landscape features and sustainable viticulture practices on biodiversity. The organisation of several dissemination events and the development of communication tools dedicated to wine growers, stakeholders of the viticulture sector and public at large (internet site, notice boards, press releases, conferences, publications, web-tool, open days, technical workshops, technical guides ). Budget Co-financiers The total budget of the project amounts to 1.95 million and is funded at 50% by the LIFE+ programme. Four organisations have supported the project as co-financers: Conseil des Vins de Saint-Emilion Syndicat des vignerons des Costières de Nîmes Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne Chambre d Agriculture de l Aude

3 3 The LIFE+ BioDiVine project beneficiaries Coordinating beneficiary The Institut Français de la Vigne et du Vin (IFV) assumes a mission considered of public interest for the whole viticulture sector in the fields of vegetal selection, viticulture, vinification and marketing of wine products. Associated beneficiaries Vitinnov is a non-profit association in France working for sustainable viticulture. Their objectives are to publish scientifically sound innovative methods for integrated pest management in viticulture. The Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (ICVV) will implement the BioDiVine project in a large area of a regional park in La Rioja in Spain. Institut Català de la Vinya y el Vinoi (INCAVI) is a tool for research and innovation in the viticulture and winemaking sector. This organisation was created by the autonomous government of Catalunya to support and participate in the innovation of the Catalan winemaking sector. ADVID s mission is to promote technological innovations to improve the quality of grapes and wine while reducing production costs in Portugal. Euroquality is a service provider specialized in Innovation and European research projects. Its main activities are innovation consultancy, economical studies and policy evaluation and the management of European research and development projects.

4 4 The demonstration sites The LIFE+ BioDiVine project is developed into seven viticulture denominations in three countries: Saint Emilion, Saint Emilion Grand Cru, Lussac Saint Emilion, Puisseguin Saint Emilion (3), Limoux (1), Costières de Nîmes (2) and Burgundy (Aloxe-Corton, Irancy and Pouilly-Fuissé (7) in France; La Rioja (La Grajera) (5) and Penedes (4) in Spain; Douro Wine Region in Portugal (6). The French site of Saumur Champigny constitutes the reference area.

5 5 Biodiversity into vineyard landscapes Reducing the pressures acting on biodiversity into vineyard landscape through concrete conservation actions. Recent changes occurred on viticulture practices during the last decades have been encouraged, notably, by the generalised use of phytosanitary products and the simplification of the farming landscape structure in link with the development of mechanisation. The loss of semi-natural landscape elements (i.e. agro-ecological infrastructures) in agrosystems associated to the increasing development of intensive viticulture practices (including the use of phytosanitary products) lead to a widespread decline in farmland biodiversity. LIFE+ BioDiVine concrete conservation actions contribute: 1) to reduce the effect of intensive viticulture practices on biodiversity by developing alternative methods and 2) to increase agro-ecological infrastructures in the viticulture landscape to provide more resources and habitats to local biodiversity. Developing sustainable viticulture practices Alternatives to phytosanitary products Viticulture represents very little surfaces but is one of the agricultural sectors that consume the most important Quantities of phytosanitary products. Intensive chemical use patterns affect several habitats of the viticulture landscape (air, soil, water) causing important impacts on biodiversity. Alternatives are progressively developed in order to reduce the use of phytosanitary products without jeopardising the production capacity of vineyard territories. Important progress has been made on the improvement of spraying tools precision and the development of more selective active ingredients allowing reducing the quantities of phytosanitary products used in viticulture. But, in parallel to the improvement of chemical protection eco-efficiency, alternatives to chemicals such as mating disruption should be encouraged. Financial and technical support for the use of mating disruption This pest management technique is based on the dispersion of female pest pheromones in the crop fields to hamper male identification of females and thus preventing reproduction. In grapevine, its efficiency has been proven in the control of the grapevine moth, Lobesia botrana, a key organism that causes damage in many viticultural regions. The use of mating disruption technique represents a species-specific alternative to synthetic pesticides and to their main side effects. Its specific effects do not imbalance the communities of other organisms in the agroecosystems and do not generate resistance. In addition it does not cause contamination of the environment with chemical residues.

6 6 Sustainable management of vineyard ground covers and soils Ground covers into vineyard are regularly tilled and frequently mowed for agronomical reasons (reducing possible grass cover competition for water and mineral elements, avoiding late frost risks ). Regular tillage and mow contribute to biodiversity decline by impacting soil organisms and species populations using the ground cover as a feeding and refuge area. Ground covers into vine plots can also provide agronomical advantages from which wine growers don t benefit if they do not manage those sustainably (organic matter preservation, soil structural stability and water holding capacity improvement, run-off control ). In addition, the presence of grass into vine plots provides nutritive resources and refuge to soil organisms, arthropods and birds. Maintenance and sustainable management of the ground cover in the vine plot. This conservation action consists in maintaining all or part of the vineyard surface protected by growth of herbaceous plants. Depending on the environmental conditions and the crop requirements, this green cover can be allowed to grow spontaneously or can be sown using seeds from selected species. It can be used permanently or seasonally depending on the plant species used and the climatic conditions of the viticulture area. Ground covers increase soil fertility and protect it from wind and water erosion. A good selection of ground cover plant species can encourage the presence of beneficial species of arthropods and microorganisms. Reintroducing semi-natural elements into the viticulture landscape Habitat diversity and continuous landscape connectivity are key drivers of species dynamics in agrosystems. The simplification of viticulture landscape is a major threat for biodiversity as it leads to the impoverishment of refuge and feeding areas. Agro-ecological infrastructures should therefore be maintained, increased, diversified to help diversifying landscape patterns and reducing the decline of biodiversity into vineyards. In addition, extensive management strategies should be developed on these areas in order to optimise their ecological potential. Planting of diversified hedges Farms and agricultural lands have generally been respectful with the natural vegetation, allowing the existence of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants along their edges. Intensive exploitation of the land has reduced or even eliminated the presence of those areas of spontaneous vegetation. BIODIVINE proposes to conserve and improve these wild plant areas in the vineyard landscape by planting hedgerows using natural species of the region. These hedgerows not only contribute to landscape but enhance the presence of beneficial organisms (e.g. pollinators or natural enemies of pests), reduce wind erosion and the dispersion of weeds and pests. They serve as corridors facilitating the movement of vertebrates in the agroecosystem.

7 7 Rehabilitation of dry stone low-walls and screes Small stone walls have traditionally been used to mark the limits of vineyards or to support and consolidate vine terraces in mountain and steep slope viticulture. They contribute to structure the landscape providing a sense of permanence. Likewise such landmarks have also a very positive impact in the reduction of erosion. They can as well increase biodiversity as they become a place of refuge, breeding and hunting for numerous wildlife animal species. In addition, these developments offer new substrates and habitats for specific floristic species. Reorganisation and sustainable management of non-productive areas The specific management of temporal or permanent non-productive areas in the vineyard can also contribute to biodiversity. In place of the application of frequent tillage to keep soil clean in these plots, BIODIVINE encourages growth and development of spontaneous vegetation or sowing mixtures of herbaceous species to maintain the ground covered. The presence of vegetation helps to reduce soil erosion and to preserve the natural fauna. It also creates wild areas facilitating the movement between habitats for many arthropods (insects, spiders, etc.) and small vertebrates, which are rich wildlife supporters for viticulture activity. Definitions : Agro-ecological infrastructures: They are semi-natural habitats extensively managed, that receive no chemical input or fertilizer. Also named as Ecological Focus Areas or Green infrastructures, they represent hedges, grass strips, ditches, ponds, isolated trees, dry stone low-walls, herbaceous or shrubby fallows... present on the farmland. These habitats are or prior importance for biodiversity; their presence helps maximising the ecosystem services benefiting to wine growers. Ecosystem services In agrosystems, biodiversity performs ecosystem services playing a major role in cropping systems functioning. They result from ecological functions performed by biodiversity. Ecosystem services rely on the functional characteristics of organisms present in the ecosystem and their distribution and abundance over space and time. They are four types of ecosystem services (definitions given in the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment):

8 Ecological management: It is a landscape management strategy based on the natural processes. It aims to protect biodiversity present in semi-natural areas and ensure their good ecological status. The most common example of ecological management is the differentiated management over space and time that is not to apply the same management strategy (intensity, frequency and management mode) on the different areas of the farm/territory. Differentiated management is implemented by combining different methods of land maintenance (mowing, grazing...). It considers the agronomic and ecological characteristics (location on the farm, ecological potential, topography...) and the use of each area by the growers or the public (vulnerability to phytosanitary drifts, proximity to a walking trail...). 8

9 9 The BioDiVine project Concrete conservation actions To contribute to the conservation of landscape, increase biodiversity, improve environmental quality and promote the aesthetic values and legacy of rural areas, the BIODIVINE project has proposed several conservation actions. These actions have been demonstrated in different viticultural landscapes. They fall into five groups: 1. Improvement and maintenance of ground cover This conservation action consists in maintaining all or part of the vineyard surface protected by growth of herbaceous plants. Depending on the environmental conditions and the crop requirements, this green cover can be allowed to grow spontaneously or can be sown using seeds from selected species. It can be used permanently or seasonally depending on the plant species used and the climatic conditions of the viticulture area. Ground covers increase soil fertility and protect it from wind and water erosion. A good selection of ground cover plant species can encourage the presence of beneficial species of arthropods and microorganisms. More than 100ha of ground cover have been implemented within the LIFE+ BioDiVine project. 2. Establishment of hedgerows Farms and agricultural lands have generally been respectful with the natural vegetation, allowing the existence of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants along their edges. Intensive exploitation of the land has reduced or even eliminated the presence of those areas of spontaneous vegetation. BIODIVINE proposes to conserve and improve these wild plant areas in the vineyard landscape by planting hedgerows using natural species of the region. These hedgerows not only contribute to landscape but enhance the presence of beneficial organisms (e.g. pollinators or natural enemies of pests), reduce wind erosion and the dispersion of weeds and pests. They serve as corridors facilitating the movement of vertebrates in the agroecosystem. More than 3600 meters of hedges have been planted within the LIFE+ BioDiVine project.

10 10 3. Construction and conservation of stone walls Small stone walls have traditionally been used to mark the limits of vineyards or to support and consolidate vine terraces in mountain and steep slope viticulture. They contribute to structure the landscape providing a sense of permanence. Likewise such landmarks have also a very positive impact in the reduction of erosion. They can as well increase biodiversity as they become a place of refuge, breeding and hunting for numerous wildlife animal species. In addition, these developments offer new substrates and habitats for specific floristic species. More than 590 meters of hedges have been implemented within the LIFE+ BioDiVine project. 4. Use of mating disruption strategies in pest management This pest management technique is based on the dispersion of female pest pheromones in the crop fields to hamper male identification of females and thus preventing reproduction. In grapevine, its efficiency has been proven in the control of the grapevine moth, Lobesia botrana, a key organism that causes damage in many viticultural regions. The use of mating disruption technique represents a species-specific alternative to synthetic pesticides and to their main side effects. Its specific effects do not imbalance the communities of other organisms in the agroecosystems and do not generate resistance. In addition it does not cause contamination of the environment with chemical residues pheromone dispensers have been implemented within the LIFE+ BioDiVine project. 5. Management of non-productive areas The specific management of temporal or permanent non-productive areas in the vineyard can also contribute to biodiversity. In place of the application of frequent tillage to keep soil clean in these plots, BIODIVINE encourages growth and development of spontaneous vegetation or sowing mixtures of herbaceous species to maintain the ground covered. The presence of vegetation helps to reduce soil erosion and to preserve the natural fauna. It also creates wild areas facilitating the movement between habitats for many arthropods (insects, spiders, etc.) and small vertebrates, which are rich wildlife supporters for viticulture activity. More than 17ha of non-productive area have been managed within the LIFE+ BioDiVine project.

11 11 Biodiversity surveys The BioDiVine project aims to encourage wine-growers to diversify the landscape of their wine estates, in order to enhance their capacity to host biodiversity. In order to determine if these actions could have a direct impact, BioDiVine partners have set up several biodiversity monitoring protocols, in different landscape configurations. In fact, these monitoring were located from areas intensively used for vines to more diversified landscapes, with strong presence of semi-natural habitats like scrublands, forests, hedgerows, water bodies, etc. Then, the possible links between the monitoring results (biodiversity measured into the fields) and the landscape configuration were studied. The biodiversity monitoring focused on the following groups: Arthropods Flora Birds Soil biological activity Mammals Landscape composition The main monitoring protocols are explained below. For these groups, BioDiVine partners experienced simple monitoring in order to characterize biodiversity by several quantitative indexes: Richness (number of species or approximate) Abundances (number of individuals) These monitoring were set up on 25 points, located into the vine plots or in the surrounding seminatural habitats, and splitted in different landscape situations of the demonstration sites.

12 12 To assess this biodiversity, huge investigation and fieldwork were performed into the vine plots. For instance, more than arthropods were collected in 2012 and 2013! Several hundreds of plants were identified! To collect all this precious information, BioDiVine partners shared their knowledge and used different techniques, depending on the taxa monitored: Arthropods have been caught thanks to two complementary traps : a combi - trap which is aiming mainly at flying arthropods, and a pitfall trap which collects mostly ground dwelling arthropods. The set of arthropods biodiversity traps Left: the trap specific to grape-berry moth, right: an adult of grape-berry-moth (the larvae can be responsible of qualitative and quantitative damages on grapes) - Pictures VITINNOV Sampling of pest insects (grape berry moths) was performed on the same sites with a specific trap. Samples were collected weekly for 10 to 12 weeks minimum each year. This means that 500 samples were collected per demonstration site and per year!!! A simplified method to identify and count arthropods was strongly needed. BioDiVine Partners used a method called Rapid Biodiversity Assessment. RBA is a simple method which enables to estimate biodiversity through the main indexes (Richness,Shannon, Simpson, ) without the need of taxonomy (needing time and expertise). It consists in the sorting of morpho-types (groups of individuals similar in shape, size,color, ) instead of real species. By counting the number of morpho-types and the number of arthropods, two main indicators can be evaluated for each location: the richness (approximate value) and abundance. Birds have been monitored thanks to the «listening points» method. On each plot of the network, a technician has listen to singing birds for ten minutes and recorded the correspondent species (each species has its own melody!).

13 13 Flora of plots has been characterized by classical botanical inventories. 3 square meters were monitored in the interrows of each plot of the BioDiVine network. Landscape has been recorded around each monitoring point up to 500 meters of radius. To objectively characterize the landscape and describe it thanks to values, a Geographical Information System was developed for each demonstration site, allowing to quantify the surfaces of the different landscape elements. Several thousands of arthropods were counted all along the project! For instance, in Saint Emilion in 2011, arthropods were numbered in 5 main habitats of the landscape: hedgerows, parks, forests, riparian foorests, and of course, vines. We discovered that even in vines, the quantity and diversity recorded were quite surprising! This means that a huge amount of these small organisms also use the vine plots to move, feed, or even find a refuge. The biodivine project aimed to raise awareness among wine-growers to take care of this, by using techniques more respectful to biodiversity. Between 52 and 64 species of birds were recorded on the different demonstration sites. Some of the species were common in agricultural areas, but some others were more specific to other habitats like forests, bushes, wetlands. To keep this high diversity in the very well-known viticulture landscape, the conservation or re-introduction of semi-natural habitats, as proposed in the BioDiVine project, is fundamental!

14 14 Bourgogne 2012 Bourgogne 2013 Saint Emilion 2012 Saint Emilion 2013 Limoux 2012 Limoux 2013 Costières 2012 Costières 2013 Alto Douro 2012 Alto Douro 2013 This conclusion was also drawn by analysing the thousands of data collected during the project. For instance, we can see here a positive link between the number of arthropods categories (the richness) recorded into the vine plots and the proportion of semi-natural habitats in the nearby landscape. This shows that landscape and species biodiversity are connected together. Therefore, landscape management in historical and traditional areas such as vineyards does not only enhance the beauty of these sites, but also supports biodiversity conservation. Bourgogne 2012 Bourgogne 2013 Saint Emilion 2012 Saint Emilion 2013 Limoux 2012 Limoux 2013 Costières 2012 Costières 2013 Alto Douro 2012 Alto Douro 2013

15 15 As another example, a higher floristic diversity in the vine plots ground cover supports a higher diversity of arthropods. This was demonstrated thanks to the monitoring performed into the demonstration sites in This is particularly important because some of these numerous species of arthropods can be helpful for the wine growers, by naturally controlling pest insects for instance. As agricultural land covers huge surfaces in Europe, it is obviously concerned with biodiversity. Therefore, actions and projects aiming to reduce the impact of farming activities, by diversifying the landscapes and/or enhancing the farming practices, are needed to protect this living heritage and guarantee the sustainability of farming areas. Dissemination strategy The opportunity of European cooperation offered by the LIFE+ BioDiVine project enables all the stakeholders to valorise the project at both European and local scale trough a set of actions and tools. Important results have been achieved at local scale, with the organisations of several events on field where winegrowers, technicians, scientists and general public have discovered the concerns related to biodiversity in vineyard landscapes. The messages have always been well received by the different target audiences. Thank's to the LIFE+ BioDiVine project, the involvement of denominations - and their winegrowers - in the development of a sustainable viticulture has widely been promoted. Some valorisation tools (technical guides, educative webtool), available on the project website, will enable to reach a large number of winegrowers to improve the environmental performances of the European viticulture. More than people have been directly reached, without taking into account the 45 articles published. In addition, 160 winegrowers have taken part to the conservation actions into the 7 demonstration areas.

16 16 Conclusions The assessment of biodiversity were very important to get results on the impact of landscape, mainly in arthropods, but also to show to growers and to the community the unique biological resources available on vineyards and on surrounding habitats, demonstrating the importance of maintaining ecological infrastructures on vineyard ecosystem. The implementation of ground covers, hedges and the rehabilitation of dry stone walls on vineyards or on non-productive areas, created a more diverse landscape, reducing the use of herbicides, enhancing overall biodiversity (flora and fauna) and providing several ecosystem services namely: pest control, weed management, minimization of compaction and erosion, improvement of soil health and structure, enhancement of water penetration and retention, improvement of water quality, absorption and locking up of CO2, potential improvement in grape quality and contribution to aesthetics landscape. The implementation of mating disruption, an alternative and safe method to control the European grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana), protected in each site, many hectares of vineyards from this important pest, reducing the use of insecticides, and enhancing the presence of beneficials. The dissemination actions (training workshops, open-days, conferences, webtool, notice boards) were very important to: demonstrate how to implement the conservation actions; disseminate the results obtained among growers, authorities, suppliers of inputs, scientific community, students, citizens (seeds, dispensers, plants); make the community aware of the importance of growers on maintaining vineyard ecosystem and preserve landscape diversity. Growers were very motivated to participate on this project, mainly because of the following reasons: - Preservation of soil (control of erosion, increase in soil fertility) - Reduction on the use of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, reducing residues on grapes) - Enhancement of natural pest control - Promotion of sustainable practices, promoting biodiversity and leisure activities (ecotourism, birdwatching) Because of that interest, on the long-term, conservation actions will be implemented and continued by growers of each site, because they are considered as added values to their exploitations.

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