Article CC BY 4.0
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Organic Farming and Cover-Crop Management Reduce Pest Predation in Austrian Vineyards

GND
1175010324
Affiliation
Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI), Institute for Plant Protection in Fruit Crops and Viticulture, Germany ; Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Koblenz-Landau, Deutschland
Reiff, Jo Marie;
GND
1228994072
Affiliation
Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI), Institute for Plant Protection in Fruit Crops and Viticulture, Germany ; Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Koblenz-Landau, Deutschland
Kolb, Sebastian;
Affiliation
Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Koblenz-Landau, Deutschland
Entling, Martin H.;
Affiliation
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Plant Protection, Austria
Herndl, Thomas;
Affiliation
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Plant Protection, Austria
Möth, Stefan;
Affiliation
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Plant Protection, Austria
Walzer, Andreas;
Affiliation
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute for Integrative Nature Conservation Research, Austria
Kropf, Matthias;
GND
139264329
Affiliation
Julius Kühn-Institute (JKI), Institute for Plant Protection in Fruit Crops and Viticulture, Germany
Hoffmann, Christoph;
Affiliation
University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Institute of Plant Protection, Austria
Winter, Silvia

Habitat simplification and intensive use of pesticides are main drivers of global arthropod declines and are, thus, decreasing natural pest control. Organic farming, complex landscapes, and local vineyard management practices such as implementation of flower-rich cover-crop mixtures may be a promising approach to enhance predator abundance and, therefore, natural pest control. We examined the effect of organic versus integrated management, cover-crop diversity in the vineyard inter-rows, and landscape composition on the natural pest control of Lobesia botrana eggs and pupae. Predation of L. botrana pupae was reduced by organic farming and species-poor cover-crops by about 10%. Predation rates of L. botrana eggs did not differ significantly in any of the studied management options. Dominant predators were earwigs (Forficulidae), bush crickets (Tettigoniidae), and ants (Formicidae). Negative effects of organic viticulture are most likely related to the negative nontarget effects on arthropods related to the frequent sulfur and copper applications in combination with the avoidance of strongly damaging insecticides by integrated winegrowers. While a 10% difference in predation rates on a single pest stage is unlikely to have strong practical implications, our results show that the assumed effectiveness of environmentally friendly agriculture needs to be evaluated for specific crops and regions.

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