Viticulture, the cultivation of grapes, is among the oldest and most profitable forms of agriculture.


Across Europe cultivation practices range from low-input systems with flower-rich inter-rows to bare soil management with frequent use of pesticides which negatively affect biodiversity and ecosystem service provision.
From 18.-20. February, the international SECBIVIT (Scenarios for providing multiple ecosystem services and biodiversity in viticultural landscapes) project has kicked off in Vienna, Austria at BOKU.
Dr Silvia Winter from the Division of Plant Protection (BOKU) is the coordinator of this three year €1.5 million project with partners from the Netherlands (University of Twente, Enschede), Germany (Julius Kühn-Institute - Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants; University of Göttingen; University Koblenz-Landau), Spain (Agencia Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas - CSIC), France (French National Institute for Agricultural Research - INRA), Romania (University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca) and the United States (University of California, Davis). Besides colleagues from the Division of Plant Protection, researchers from the Institute for Zoology and the Institute of Wildlife Biology and Game Management are part of the BOKU team.
The project is funded by a joint international call of the Belmont Forum and the ERA-NET BiodivERsA network, which aims to strengthen research on scenarios for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The SECBIVIT project will investigate the effects of inter-row management and pest control intensity within landscapes differing in structural diversity on biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provision. The consortium will develop spatially explicit agent-based models on the social-ecological system for viticulture. These models describe winegrowers as agents who take farming decisions and thereby influence the vineyard and surrounding landscape in various European viticultural regions from Spain to Romania.  The aim is to model the effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services to determine optimal land use strategies in viticultural landscapes. (