Effects of cultivation and greening of vineyards on ants in Palatinate (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)

Effects of cultivation and greening of vineyards on ants in Palatinate (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany)

Ants can be encountered world-wide and have important functions in their habitats. In Germany, there are more than 100 different ant species; about 75 % of them were detected in Rhineland-Palatinate. In Rhineland-Palatinate, viniculture is an essential part of agriculture as the largest wine-growing areas of Germany are located there. Given the crucial role of ants in habitats, their occurrence in cultivated areas, and the shortage of studies on ants in European vineyards, this is an interesting research topic. In addition, there are some different types of cultivation, which have been evolved over the last years. These different types can be assumed to have an impact on living organisms of the respective vineyards.


In my diploma thesis, I analyze the effects of two different types of cultivations (organic and traditional) and the greening of the vineyards on ants in Palatinate. Additionally, edge effects of roads are an object of my research. The study is conducted at about 20 places between Neustadt and Landau (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany). At each place there are two vineyards: one organically cultivated, and the other cultivated in a traditional way. To study the effects of cultivation, greening, and roads, three different sampling methods are used: Baiting (with tuna and honey), hand sampling, and nest counting in standardized sampling areas within each vineyard. Currently, the data is being collected.

My research project is part of an international cooperation with the University of Florence, Italy.


Dr. Carsten Brühl

Tabea Gummer