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PromESSinG - Promoting Ecosystem Services in Grapes

Viticulture is a perennial crop and requires inputs, but it also offers high potential for biodiversityand ESS hosting !

New approaches are needed to secure food production while creating sustainable agricultural systems requiring as few external inputs as possible. The interaction between biodiversity and ecosystem services (ESS) is recognized to play a key role in this context although large gaps in knowledge exist. Cultivation of grapevine as a perennial crop, characterized as a highly input-intensive crop often grown for several decades on exposed locations with particular climatic conditions, has a high potential of providing ESS linked to biodiversity since viticulture does not aim at producing maximum yield but rather high quality products. Additionally, viticulture can provide high levels of biodiversity inside the cropped area which cannot be found in annual cropping systems. Thus, viticultural systems provide ideal conditions for analyzing ESS relevant for the grapevine grower such as soil fertility and stability, water retention, pest and weed control as well as grape quality in relation to soil biodiversity and functioning.

The PromESSinG project aims to identify management options for promoting biodiversity in order to reduce external inputs in vineyards ecosystems. It will be conducted from 2015 to 2018 in five countries of Central Europe : Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, and Romania.


Main objectives of the project

Different soil management techniques and their
impact on ESS and biodiversity will be compared

The major aim of PromESSinG is to identify management options for promoting biodiversity linked ESS in order to reduce external inputs in Central European vineyard ecosystems. The project intends to unravel biodiversity driven processes associated with the main ESS in viticultural systems taking different management factors into account. A particular focus will be on the analysis of interactions between soil management strategies and soil biodiversity, as interactions between the diverse soil biota as well as chemical and physical properties of the soil environment are fundamental for the provision of soil-based ecosystem services.


Actions to be implemented

The intended research will be conducted in temperate vineyard systems in France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Romania, thus covering a gradient from maritime to continental climates. In a common study with all countries involved and using a standardized sampling design we will analyze the links between disturbance gradients and diversity of soil relevant species groups (soil microflora including mycorrhiza, macrofauna, plants), soil function and respective supporting, regulating and provisioning ESS. Management effects on these interactions are analyzed on two different scales by combining:

  • the factor soil management including three vineyard ground management treatments of different disturbance intensities,
  • the factor landscape management consisting of three different landscape heterogeneity levels.


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