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Home > News > Coverages > Biodiversity: golden-eyed lacewings, marsh tits, and other small creatures that help to protect our vineyards…
17 May 2015

Biodiversity: golden-eyed lacewings, marsh tits, and other small creatures that help to protect our vineyards…

sauterelle

For many years, Vignobles André Lurton have been committed to environmentally-responsible policies aimed at protecting the vineyard ecosystems (integrated farming, joining the S.M.E. – Bordeaux wine Environmental Management System - when it was launched in 2010, etc.). Our efforts to modify  our vineyard management methods, particularly by restricting the use of vineyard treatment products, are starting to produce results and these new practices seem to have a positive impact on biodiversity.

Our vineyards act as biodiversity reserves for both flora and fauna. Insects represent not only the worst threat to crops, but also the greatest help for grape growers who are concerned about their ecological footprint, thanks to creatures that are beneficial to vines, helping to restrict the spread and minimise the effects of certain pests…

Insect pests have always been present in the vineyards and may cause considerable damage...

 to different parts of the vines:

  •  leaves (defoliation, necrosis of the foliage),
  • and grapes, providing favourable conditions for fungal infection and development, such as grey rot.

These insect pests particularly facilitate the onset (for example, when grape worms make holes in the skins) and spread of contamination detrimental to our great wines.

These crop auxiliaries are the winegrowers' friends...

Merle noir

Nature provides grape growers with precious, remarkable helpers, known as crop "auxiliaries". A majority of them are birds (blackbirds, tits, thrushes, and woodpeckers). They consume large quantities of insect pests that attack vines (grape worms, leaf hoppers, ants, and leaf rollers).

Other, more discreet, auxiliaries are just as effective at combating these pests and protecting our vines. Lacewings (also, more poetically, known as golden-eyed damselflies), ladybirds, hover flies, and earwigs, as well as harvestmen and other spiders are also winegrowers' friends, as they eat a lot of pest larvae.

Vignobles André Lurton intend to benefit from all the help provided by these auxiliaries, especially stink bugs, which not only have a direct impact on regulating pest populations, but may also have an effect on weed development.  (Ongoing studies have provided evidence of this phenomenon).

Recently, we have also observed the return of the bees and an increase in the worm population, both signs that our terroir  is recovering and that the soil is rich and functioning properly - when the terroir  is healthy, the grapes express all the goodness absorbed by the vine and the resulting wine reaches its full potential.

These photos show various pests and crop auxiliaries found on our estates...

Golden eyes lacewing
Seven-spot ladybird
Daddy-long-legs
Cetonia aurata
Hoverflie
Thomisus onustus
earwig
ants
angle shades
drinker

Photos : © Laetitia Melun-Lespinasse / © H. Brun-Puginer.

Favourable biotopes

   

Reintroducing and maintaining the populations of these auxiliary-predators  has been facilitated by fostering biotopes favourable to their development. For this reason, we are very attentive to the surroundings of our vineyards and deliberately preserveditches, banks, and thickets to provide suitable habitats for birds, mammals, insects, etc.

Hedges, planted particularly at Château La Louvière, also provide food and shelter for a variety of animal species. Many invertebrates (spiders) reproduce there. Birds nest in the bushes. Small mammals  (foxes, hares, etc.) and larger animals (wild boar, deer) use them as pathways.

Cover crop in and around the vineyards (particularly on our Entre-Deux-Mers estates) preserves habitats for some species and also reduces soil erosion and the resulting damage to our terroir . Finally, we aim, as far as possible, to maintain all the trees in or near the vineyards, isolated or in clumps, in order to promote and maintain biodiversity.

We make every effort to promote species diversity throughout all our vineyards: we intend not only to maintain it, but also to enhance it over time.

With this in mind, Laetitia Melun-Lespinasse, our Technical Vineyard Manager, works every day to maintain this remarkable balance on all our estates, even, in some cases, promoting the settling of newcomers, by installing nesting boxes and other shelters…

 
Perdrix
     
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