Viticulture in the TMO
The entire TMO is famous for it’s viticulture. Local areas like “Südliche Weinstraße”, “Kaiserstuhl”, “Ortenau” and the French “Alsac” are part of it. Unfortunately the given climatic conditions of this area do not only favor viticulture but also associated pests (as e.g. Peronospora and Phytophthora), compromising the yield.
Actions to protect vine
Respective actions to save yield, reduce or prohibit the occurrence of such pests. Therefore, different plant protection actions can be considered, which further can be classified into different categories: The most important are i) actions of vine culturing (soil managment), ii) mechanical-physical actions (protective cover), iii) biological actions (usage of beneficial organisms), iv) biotechnical applications (usage of pheromones) and v) chemical actions (usage of plant plant protection products).
Application of pesticides
Commonly used pesticides in viticulture are herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. These are applied according to schedules recommended by the (DLR)to prevent crop failure.
One major point of concern is the possibility that pesticides may unintentionally enter surface waters through rainfall events (washing off the PPPs from the vineyards; run-off event). Besides this pathway also the washing of agricultural machinery may lead, via sewage and wastewater treatment systems, to such PPP entries into surface. Thereby the PPP loads (concentrations) in the surface waters may reach levels which can be very harmful or even lethal for plants and animals living in such aquatic systems. In such a case the function of the entire ecosystem can be influenced strongly and hence be at risk. For example leaf litter decomposition can be affected negatively, which may consequently lead to reduced amounts of nutrients being available in the respective ecosystem.
In order to prevent such ecosystsem incidents, actions are necessary to reduce the entry of PPPs into surface waters. The scientists of the PHOTOPUR consortium want to counteract such PPP entries into aquatic ecosystems and thus focus a photocatalytical process to prevent such entries in future.