Organic vineyards support ant diversity

Photo Credit: Mark Nenadov

A recent study published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment has found that organic vineyards in Italy support more species of ants than conventionally managed vineyards. For the comparison study, researchers chose organic and conventional vineyards that utilized similar soil management practices such as the frequency of tillage and that were surrounded by similar habitats. Their results demonstrated that the number of ants and species per unit area were greater in the organic vineyards as compared to their conventional counterparts. The authors attribute this difference is largely due to the use of insecticides in the conventional vineyards.