BioAWARE: Could Biodiversity Assure Weed Regulation for Resilient Ecosystem Service Provision?



By conducting targeted experiments in Austria, Czech Republic, France and Sweden and reanalysing existing data the ERA-NET project BioAWARE will test whether a high richness and abundance of granivorous carabid species or functional carabid groups (biodiversity) assures natural weed control, in the long term, by increasing regulation rates and rendering them resilient to the variation in environmental conditions in EU agriculture. Invertebrate communities and molecularly derived food webs, including 15 replicates per country and comprising diet analysis of close to 12,000 individual beetles, are currently being generated to obtain a better functional understanding which environmental parameters drive the level of weed seed consumption. We are examining both how the weed seed predator diversity can be managed using a combination of in-field and landscape managements, to assure weed seed control, and how it can be used to replace or reduce the applications of herbicides as part of weed IPM. To meet the pressing need for farmer-acceptable weed IPM, which they could adopt, we will evaluate the attitudes of farmers (ecological, social and economic) towards natural weed regulation, assured by weed seed predator diversity, relative to herbicide-based weed control. Through co-development by farmers, agronomists and scientists, practical weed IPM solutions will then be developed, demonstrated and evaluated. The ecological, social and economic knowledge we gain for how farmer perceptions change with the resilience of natural regulation, will detail the training, know-how and economic support required to deliver farmer-acceptable IPM that balances natural (biodiversity-derived) and chemical weed control sustainably across the EU.

The BioAware consortium is led by David A. Bohan (INRA, Dijon) including the national project leaders Michael Traugott (University of Innsbruck), Pavel Saska (Crop Research Institute, Praha), Wopke von der Werft (Wageningen University) and Mattias Jonsson (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences).


ATE members involved in BioAWARE:

  • Corinna Wallinger, Michael Traugott (PI)
  • Veronika Neidel, Britta Frei (PhD students)
  • Christina Siegl, Magdalena Pfeiffer (MSc. students)
  • Franziska Fröhle, Lisa Kitzbichler, Melanie Autengruber, Johannes Schwarz, Laura Stephan  (BSc. students)


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