A ½ day seminar: Agro-biodiversity and Ecosystem services
Presentation by Ann Thrupp -Manager of Sustainability and Organic Development, Fetzer/Bonterra Vineyards, USA
Biodiversity in Organic Vineyards Case Studies from California’s North Coast Region
This presentation is a summary of practices commonly used in organic vineyards in northern California to conserve and enhance biodiversity, and the ecosystem services or benefits that these practices provide for production of grapes, and for the wider environment and society.
I summarize results of a study undertaken of five organic vineyard properties, in collaboration with growers, which examined the impact of habitat diversity (established in hedgerows and conservation of vegetation) on the presence of insect pests and beneficial/predatory insects; and the study demonstrated positive effects of those habitat plantings on the populations of beneficial insects, and reduction of several pest insects.
The presentation also includes examples of specific practices used by Bonterra and Fetzer vineyards - including planting diverse cover crops, using compost, planting habitat corridors, wildlife conservation, and riparian habitat protection - that illustrate the principles and benefits of enhancing biodiversity in organic vineyards. Although the economic values of such practices are difficult to measure, these biodiversity enhancement practices are recognized by the growers to offer substantial advantages; and the experiences offer useful lessons for other growers in the region and beyond.