Vegetation effect on invertebrate abundance in Australian vineyards

Purabi Ghosh *1, Linda Thomson 1, Ary Hoffmann 1

1 Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia

Vegetation diversity has long been known to enhance natural pest control at both the local and landscape level. However little is known about the characteristics of this vegetation that promote/shelter more natural enemies and suppress pests.  To consider vegetation characteristics we compared the impact of grasslands and treed areas as well as within-crop vegetation on natural enemy abundance in Australian vineyards in a replicated design. Pitfall and yellow sticky traps sampling occurred throughout the grape growing season in 2010-2011, starting from bud bursting stage of vines and continuing through until harvest. A range of natural enemies and other invertebrates were sampled in vineyards which were then sorted to family level to analyze groups affected by adjacent vegetation. The outcome of these surveys will be presented and results compared to similar trials carried out in northern Europe.

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