, Volume 63, Issue 6, pp 795–806 | Cite as

The effect of cover plants management on soil invertebrate fauna in vineyard in Northern Italy

  • Daniele SommaggioEmail author
  • Emiliano Peretti
  • Giovanni Burgio


Cover crops are largely used in vineyard management to improve ecological services such as pest and weed control, soil protection from erosion and soil water balance. Few data are available about the effects of cover crops on soil fauna and, in particular, on important generalist predators such as Carabidae and Araneae. We compare the effects of five different cover crops treatments: Sweet Alyssum, Phacelia, Buckwheat, Faba bean and a mixture of Vetch and Oat. A three years experimental trial was developed in Northern Italy. Soil fauna was investigated using pitfall traps. Cover crops seriously affected soil fauna of most taxa. Higher abundance of predators, in particular Carabidae and Staphylinidae, was present in treatments with legumes (Faba bean and Vetch and Oat) while soil Araneae seemed not to be affected. No vineyard pests seemed to be positively affected by cover crops. We confirm the importance of cover crops in increasing soil predator abundance and consequently improving pest control.


Flowering plants Carabidae Functional biodiversity Soil predators 



This research was founded by Emilia Romagna Region and CRPV, within the “Organic Vineyard” project. A special thanks to Nazzareno Reggiani, Giovanna Montepaone, Willi Meneghin and Cristina Viscardi who greatly supported the field samplings, and to the owner of “Acetaia del Cristo” (Modena) vineyard. We would like to thank Mauro Gobbi and Pier Mauro Giachino for their help in Carabidae identification and nomenclature.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 77 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniele Sommaggio
    • 1
    Email author
  • Emiliano Peretti
    • 2
  • Giovanni Burgio
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, DipSAAlma Mater Studiorum, Università di BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità di PadovaPaduaItaly

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