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Wildlife & Ecosystems

Sampling Vineyard Ecology and Biodiversity in Bordeaux

Earthwatchers helped foster biodiversity and improve agricultural practices in the vineyards of Bordeaux, France.

Previously Funded Expedition

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

Farmers need tools to monitor general biodiversity and its changes over time to understand if new farm management techniques are effective.

Farmers in the vineyards of Bordeaux need tools to measure the outcome of their improved farmscaping activities.

In historically wine-growing areas such as Bordeaux, viticulture (grape farming) is so dominant that it negatively affects species biodiversity, both through its impact on landscape composition and through intensive crop management. Increased biodiversity can improve the natural regulation of vine pests, while also supporting wine growers who seek better tools for recovering lost species, reducing soil erosion, and lowering the risk of fertilizer and pesticide runoff. A variety of farmscaping measures have been proposed to achieve this sustainable approach, but the success of these efforts is difficult to measure. Farmers need tools to monitor general biodiversity and its changes over time to understand if new farm management techniques are effective.

Measuring biodiversity in the vineyards.

This project worked to develop simplified methods and indicators to monitor the changes in biodiversity across a whole vineyard. Earthwatch volunteers on this project have helped to test and improve these methods, which are intended to help farm managers who are not wildlife specialists to appreciate and monitor biodiversity in their vineyards and understand its importance. Information from this project has been used to make recommendations on how farming practices in a working vineyard could be modified to benefit the associated wildlife.

About the research area

Bordeaux, France, Europe & Russia

Daily life in the field

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The Scientists

MEET THE LEAD SCIENTIST

Maarten
van Helden
Associate Professor, National School for Agricultural Engineers, Bordeaux

ABOUT Maarten van Helden

Dr. Van Helden researches pest management in the vineyards of France.

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Accommodations and Food

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