Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effects of soil tillage on beneficial invertebrates within the vineyard

Published source details

Sharley D.J., Hoffmann A.A. & Thomson L.J. (2008) The effects of soil tillage on beneficial invertebrates within the vineyard. Agricultural and Forest Entomology, 10, 233-243


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Allow natural regeneration of ground cover beneath perennial crops Natural Pest Control

A replicated, randomised and controlled study in a grape Vitis vinifera vineyard in Victoria, Australia in 2003-2004 (Sharley et al. 2008) found that predatory ants (Formicidae) were more abundant in untilled plots containing resident vegetation (averaging 57 captures/plot) than tilled plots (35 captures) in the four months following tillage. Numbers of other ground-living natural enemies, including earwigs (Dermaptera), centipedes (Lithobiida), millipedes (Julida) and spiders (Araneae), were also greater in untilled than tilled plots in the first or second month after tillage, but similar thereafter. Pest antlike flower beetles (Anthicidae) were less abundant in untilled (averaging 0.6 captures/plot) than tilled (2.2 captures) plots across all months. In the canopy, parasitoid wasps (Trichogrammatidae) were more abundant in untilled (averaging 5 captures) than tilled plots (2 captures) in one month, but were similar a month later. In each of five 288 m² plots, half the area was tilled (15 cm depth) and half was left with natural resident vegetation (grasses and weeds).