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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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Exploit plant biodiversity in viticultural systems to reduce pest damage and pesticide use, and increase ecosystem services provision

 The control of grapevine pests is the most important and difficult task in organic viticulture. Insufficient control is often the main reason for growers to abandon organic production and, in this way, renounce to a very interesting and growing market: organic viticulture in Europe increased from 43,000 to 266,000 hectares between 1998 and 2014, so that 6.8% of the harvested grape area is currently organically farmed (FiBL 2016, The progressive reduction of copper fungicides (Council Regulation (EEC) 2092/91, Annex II) increases the abandonment of organic grape production. Development of new and efficient strategies for controlling grapevine pests based on exploitation of biodiversity will contribute to overcome this barrier and provide to European grape growers new opportunities for entering/remaining in this sector. Biodiversity also plays a key role in the regulation of agro-ecosystem functioning and therefore affects the quality of human society by providing essential services. The recent report of EC (Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity, IN-DEPTH REPORT, May 2015, Issue 11) clearly showed that there is a need of research on how biodiversity underpins these services. This is an important step for a more efficient use of available finance in existing biodiversity programmes, including Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes under the Thematic Issue of Science for Environment Policy in the EC (Science for Environment Policy, Weekly News Alert, March 2012, Issue 30). Under PES agreements, organic farmers may have opportunities to grow because, as providers of ecosystem services, they may receive payments from people who benefit of these ecosystem services.


The project involves 6 countries (Italy, France, Romania, Spain, Slovenia and Switzerland), which account for > 90% of the EU27 total surface of organic viticulture (FiBL 216, and 6 partners having different, complementary expertise in the specific fields of this project.