Science (grch. oikos = house, science of the household, eco = environment) of the complex and reciprocal relationship of living beings to their environment as a branch of biology (science of living nature and the laws of animal, plant and human life). More comprehensively expressed, ecology means the science of the overall balance of nature. The term has now also become synonymous with "environment" or "environmental protection". The decisive prerequisite for a balanced and stable ecosystem is biodiversity (species diversity). This means the existence of a large number of plant and animal organisms. In all western industrialised countries, huge areas of agriculture and thus also viticulture have led to the creation of monocultures, often on a huge scale. In extreme cases, instead of a natural complex of many different plants, the only plant left is the grapevine, as is the case in California and Australia, where there are miles of vineyards.
Decades of massive use of conventional plant protection products with environmentally harmful pesticides have left the vine impoverished and unstable against these pathogens, against animal pests and against weeds. A further cause is the massive fertilization with mineral substances, some of which has been carried out over many decades. This creates a negative (almost deadly) cycle, because the mass reproduction of harmful organisms is virtually pre-programmed. The discussion about the limits of industrial growth and the exploitation of the natural living environment of mankind has given rise to the ecology movement, which wants to make the handling of the earth's limited resources more environmentally friendly. For this purpose, the term sustainability (regenerative systems) was created, as well as the term biodiversity with regard to the preservation of biodiversity. These principles, which are important in terms of environmental protection/conservation, are also playing an increasingly important role in viticulture, especially in vineyard management, but also in cellar technology.
The terms ecology and biology are often confused or equated and interpreted differently. A good description of the difference in the form of a gag is: biological means that no chemical mace was used in cultivation, and ecological means that in addition, the environment was protected or even promoted. For more information on this topic, see Organic (Ecological) Viticulture.