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Wednesday, April 11 • 2:15pm - 2:30pm
PROCESSES IN AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES: Enablers and Barriers to Vineyard/Winery Land Sparing/Sharing Green Infrastructure Strategies

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AUTHORS: Dr. Wendy McWilliam, Lincoln University, New Zealand

ABSTRACT: In some wine regions vineyard landscapes have thrived over long periods of time as biodiverse vegetation communities. Changing policies and market conditions have led to their simplification, and, although more productive, these systems are criticised for their negative social, cultural and ecological consequences. Two alternative production strategies have been debated (for intensive agricultural systems in general) to conserve or restore at least some of the ecosystem services of traditional systems. In a land sparing strategy, large areas of monoculture vineyards are focused on the most capable land and marginal areas are set aside for nature conservation. However, this system is criticised for mitigating few intensive system environmental impacts and for its infrequent implementation among landowners who see few benefits to setting aside their land for nature conservation. A second alternative is the conservation or restoration of some of the elements of traditional land sharing strategies that integrate green infrastructure (non-vine vegetation) into the vineyard production systems rather than segregate it. However, these systems may to be less productive, less efficient, and riskier. They also may not be implemented if they do not provide sufficient benefit to vineyard owners. There is a need for studies that evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of alternative systems toward the identification of more sustainable alternatives. Toward that end, in-depth, semi-structured, face to face interviews were conducted with vineyard owners and managers of Willamette valley, Oregon, U.S. vineyards to evaluate their combined sparing and sharing strategy. Questions answered include: What green infrastructure is in place? What services/disservices does it provide? Why do vineyards conserve and restore it? What are the enablers and barriers to its conservation and restoration? And, what lessons can be learned to advance the conservation and restoration of more biodiverse vineyard systems while ensuring an acceptable level of production?

Wednesday April 11, 2018 2:15pm - 2:30pm CDT
Adams Room

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