Project: EcoOrchard – University of Copenhagen

EcoOrchard

Innovative design and management to boost functional biodiversity of organic orchards.

The project objectives in brief

  1. To identify promising techniques, tools and monitoring protocols to improve management of functional biodiversity, which consistently enhance the performance of natural enemies, reduce pest pressure and are adapted to farmers' implementation.
  2. To assess promising techniques, namely specific flora introduction to provide and optimize supplementary alternative food/prey for natural enemies, and specifically adapted habitat management.
  3. To create a European-wide network of stakeholders for collecting, sharing and improving scientific and practical knowledge and experience in functional biodiversity management for resilient organic orchards.
  4. To learn from a participatory approach about potential constraints that may hamper the adoption of innovative tools and how to solve these constraints by iterative re-evaluation.

Project summary May 2018

  • Knowledge and experience on Functional AgroBiodiversity (FAB) management both from practitioners and scientists has been collected and are being reviewed based on interviews with farmers (>100) and advisors (>50) in all partner countries, on literature and on workshops with growers, advisors and research were held in France, Sweden and Denmark.
  • EBIO-Network platform established and available on http://ebionetwork.julius-kuehn.de/.
  • 34 FAB techniques were described and can be divided into 3 categories: long-term ecological infrastructures, dynamic agricultural practices adaptable from a season to another and deeper system redesign requiring strong interactions with the production system such as crop diversification.
  • Methods for farmers/advisors own assessment of FAB has been tested by farmers and a handbook for methods is now available in several languages in EBio-Networks page How can I assess FAB.
  • Field trials for interrow flower strips in 7 countries was completed in 2017 and results are being published on the effect of flower strips on pests, their natural enemies and crop damage, as well as flower strip establishment.
  • Recommendations for farmers made in a technical including e.g. management of flower strips, seed mixtures, necessary restrictions in plant protection management and adapted machinery for implementation and are being translated into partner languages.
  • Through the organization of the workshops we achieved to create a space for exchanges about FAB monitoring practices, and we also used those events to favour collective learning about functional biodiversity and monitoring methods. 

Read more about the project at ICROFS.

Read more about the EBio-Network.

See a video on FAB techniques

Find project publications in Organic eprints.