Publication Date: 
August 2007
Viers, JH and TR Kelsey. 2007. Vinecology: a partnership to better understand the ecology of vineyards and surrounding working landscapes. 92nd ESA Annual Meeting, San Jose.

Working landscapes are critical for our long-term protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services.  In Mediterranean regions, vineyard dominated landscapes pose an emerging challenge for ecologists and viticulturalists alike. The development of vineyards in Californiaincreased from 120,000 to over 195,000 hectares between 1982 and 2000 and similar growth is occurring in other Mediterranean regions around the world.  This land conversion has real implications for biodiversity because Mediterranean ecosystems – such as those found in California, South Africa, Chile, and Australia – harbor a disproportionate number of endemic species worldwide. To better understand the ecology of vineyards and surrounding working landscapes, we have partnered with industry to create Vinecology; this partnership's goal is to improve our current understanding and capacity for designing and managing vineyard-dominated landscapes in an ecologically sustainable way.  We recently convened a workshop with practitioners from South Africa and New Zealand wine regions to review existing scientific knowledge regarding the conservation of both terrestrial and aquatic habitats in vineyard landscapes. We will share our review of existing knowledge and a prioritized agenda to help guide future research and education in sustainable viticulture, as well as conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in vineyard landscapes.