Costa Rica

Coffee Agroforestry Systems in Central America: I. A Review of Quantitative Information on Physiological and Ecological Processes

Background

Coffee (Coffea arabica, L.) is the most widely grown cash crop in Central America.  While previous research identified various environmental factors that affect its growth and yield, the authors believe  that quantitative knowledge of coffee and other tropical agroforestry systems is still limited. This article provides both a literature review and a summary of quantitative data necessary to develop process-based models for coffee agroforestry systems in Central America.

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Coffee Agroforestry Systems in Central America: II. Development of a Simple Process-Based Model and Preliminary Results

Background

Globally, coffee (Coffea arabica, L.) is an important cash crop. In past decades, there was  a growing trend  in Central America towards  high-input monocultures, but most recently, agroforestry is again becoming a common system. However, it is difficult to optimise the selection of shade tree species in an agroforestry system. This article provides information on a simple dynamic model for coffee-agroforestry systems in Central America.

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Effects of Inga densiflora on the Microclimate of Coffee (Coffea arabica L.) and Overall Biomass under Optimal Growing Conditions in Costa Rica

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This article compares a coffee agroforestry system shaded with Inga densiflora to a coffee monoculture in optimal coffee growing conditions in Costa Rica. The two systems were investigated to determine differences in microclimate, coffee yield, and vegetative development of the coffee plants.

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Impacts of Native Trees on Tropical Soils: A Study in the Atlantic Lowlands of Costa Rica

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This article describes the results of a study in Costa Rica that compared the soil fertility in a 2.5 year-old plantation of 6 native tree species, grass pasture, and 20 year-old secondary forest.

Research Goals & Methods

Soil extractable Ca, Mg, K, P, Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn, the pH, exchangeable acidity, organic matter and total N were measured in three plots.

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Silvicultural and economic aspects of pure and mixed native tree species plantations on degraded pasturelands in humid Costa Rica

Background

Reforestation of degraded land in tropical regions provides one means of restoring ecosystems and improving rural livelihoods. Most plantations in humid tropical regions are established in pure plots using few species of high commercial value, generally exotics. This study compares growth and economic viability of native trees in pure and mixed plantations on degraded land.

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Strategies for the Recovery of Degraded Ecosystems: Experiences from Latin America

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This paper reviews the rehabilitation potential of native species forest plantations in lowland Costa Rica, the Atlantic Forest of Bahia, Brazil, and sub-tropical Argentina. Native species can improve forest regeneration where soils are degraded and where sources of propagules are limited. While most tropical plantations are dominated by exotic species, native trees may be more appropriate because they are better adapted to the local environment, are already familiar to local farmers, and their propagules are locally available.

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Restoring abandoned pasture land with native tree species in Costa Rica: Effects of exotic grass competition and light

Background

Understanding the early establishment requirements and performance of tropical tree seedlings is essential to ensuring the success of restoration plantings. This study characterizes growth and light requirements of six common neotropical tree species: Pseudosamanea guachapele (Fabaceae), Tabebuia impetiginosa (Bignoniaceae), Ceiba pentandra (Bombacaceae), Pachira quinata (Bombacaceae), Dalbergia retusa (Fabaceae), and Tabebuia rosea (Bignoniaceae).

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Performance of forest plantations in small and medium-sized farms in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica

Background

While exotic trees are typically used in plantations throughout the tropics, there has been recognition that certain native species are also suitable. This study aims to compare the viability of both native and exotic tree species for plantation use. 

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Forest Plantations in Costa Rica and Nicaragua: Performance of Species and Preferences of Farmers

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This paper presents data on the survival and growth of mixed native and exotic forest plantations established on abandoned pastures in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. The article also includes information on farmer species preference and socioeconomic information.

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Growth and effects of thinning of mixed and pure plantations with native trees in humid tropical Costa Rica

Background

As reforestation with native tree species gains in popularity, more information about proper management is needed. This study examines the growth and responses to thinning of ten native species in mixed and pure-species plantations in the Caribbean Lowlands of Costa Rica.

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