The potential use of a wildflower meadow in a vineyard to enhance the local rural landscape character
Among the main benefits of using wildflower meadows is to enhance the local landscape character and increase biodiversity. Vineyards worldwide often constitute a dominant element of the landscape character. This study investigates the potential use of the local flora as a wildflower meadow in a vineyard cultivated with the cultivar 'Sultanina', at Perigiali, Korinthia, Greece with an aim to enhance the local rural landscape character and increase biodiversity while sustaining a stable grape production. It is paramount in a vineyard that the meadow does not negatively affect both the quantity and quality of the produce. Three cultivation methods (treatments) were investigated based on three levels of cutting the local flora in the vineyard: uncut, periodic and constant (control). Throughout the duration of the first year of the experiment the composition of the local floral was identified (number, height and area of groundcover of the plants per species) as well as the insects found within the wildflower meadow and on the grape vine plants. At maturity, the main quantitative (yield vine‑1) and qualitative characteristics (soluble solids, pH and total titratable acidity) of the grapes were evaluated. Results of the first year of study showed that the overall composition of the local floral did not differ between the uncut and periodic cut treatments, and that the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the grape vines did not differ between all treatments. Furthermore, the population of pests (thrips) found within the meadow was higher in the uncut treatment, compared to the periodic cut treatment. On the other hand the number of pests found on the grape vine plants in both the uncut and periodic cut treatments were too small to consider. Further research is necessary to draw conclusive results on the effect of the local flora as a wildflower meadow on the qualitative and quantitative characters of the grapes in subsequent years.
Paraskevopoulou, A.T., Pappous, E., Bertsouklis, K.F., Biniari, K., Daskalakis, I. and Perdikis, D. (2020). The potential use of a wildflower meadow in a vineyard to enhance the local rural landscape character. Acta Hortic. 1279, 29-38
landscape character, cut, local flora, biodiversity, grape vines, qualitative and quantitative characters