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Reference: Interplay between amount of natural vegetation and effective vineyard management practices benefits local arthropod diversity
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Understanding the effects of agricultural practices on farmland biodiversity requires a landscape perspective, as local-scale processes can be influenced by the structure of the surrounding landscape. We assess whether amount of natural vegetation in the landscape interacts with two local-scale variables, in-crop vegetation cover and farming approach (organic vs. integrated), to influence vineyard arthropods within the Cape Floristic Region. Responses were assessed for overall arthropods and three sub-categories based on arthropod species affinity to vineyards, natural vegetation (fynbos), or both systems. There were no significant interactions between local and landscape variables that affected the species richness of arthropods. However, there was a main effect of increased in-crop herbaceous vegetation that increased the species richness of overall arthropods and ubiquitous arthropods. Furthermore, interactions between the amount of natural vegetation and local-scale processes influenced composition of arthropod assemblages. Assemblages among integrated vineyards were similar in composition irrespective of landscape context, whereas they were dissimilar among organic vineyards in landscapes with different levels of natural vegetation. Our results suggest a relatively lower homogenising effect of organic farming than non-organic farming on landscape-scale biodiversity and that maintaining non-crop vegetation in vineyards benefits arthropod diversity. These findings emphasise the importance of considering the interplay between local management and the surrounding landscape in promoting biodiversity in a farming and conservation mosaic. This is especially important where landscapes vary greatly in complexity, as in many agricultural regions worldwide.

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Publication Details

Published: 2022
Publication: Biodiversity and Conservation
Issue: 2022 Online September 2022
Author: Geldenhuys M 2022


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