The term “biodiversity”, contraction of “biological diversity”, was coined in the mid-1980s by naturalists worried by the destruction of natural environments and the species they support.
It is generally defined as “the variability of living organisms of all origins, including, among others, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes to which they belong“.
The diversity of living matter that we can observe today is the fruit of a long process of evolution from the first bacteria that appeared 3.5 thousand million years ago. Through a complex mechanism combining genetic mutations or re-combinations and the pressure of natural selection, those primitive micro-organisms gradually evolved, leading to more complex organisms, adapted to their environment, notably man and other mammals.
The vine has suffered a dramatic reduction in its varietal diversity, notably due to the introduction of phylloxera.
If this crisis led to the creation of a few new varieties (hybrid direct producers), it ultimately resulted in the simplification and homogenisation of varieties planted.
More recently, clonal selection, difficult to envisage for marginal varieties, has continued this targeted planting and also contributed to a reduction in the genetic diversity within each variety, by systematically favouring certain clones.
The viticultural ecosystem is blessed with very diversified fauna, which can help in the control of pests, through the presence of natural enemies. This functional biodiversity requires the development of ecological reservoir zones (hedges, plant cover) and the adaptation of vineyard treatments.