Organic vineyards have more plant and butterfly diversity than conventional vineyards

Photo credit: Berit Watkin

A new study published in the scientific journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment has found that organic vineyards in Spain are home to more butterflies and plants than their conventional counterparts. Researchers surveyed butterflies, plants, moths, and birds in organically farmed vineyards and conventional vineyards. They also collected additional focused biodiversity survey data for the grass strips between the rows of grape plants on organic and conventional vineyards. Findings showed that organic vineyards had many more species of butterflies and plants.  Organic vineyards also supported more moths although the trend was less striking than butterflies and plants likely due to insufficient sampling. There was no difference in the presence of birds between the organic and conventional vineyards. “Our results suggest that organic farming may contribute to halting the widespread decrease that is occurring in communities of butterflies and other insects in this region,” the authors concluded.