Coffee Agroforestry Systems in Central America: I. A Review of Quantitative Information on Physiological and Ecological Processes
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.
research goals & methods
The study reviews available literature on four key parameters in coffee agroforestry systems namely: coffee tree parameters such as phenology and morphology; shed tree parameters; soil data; and, weather data. The authors restrict their examination to factors and characteristics which affect coffee productivity, and their impact on the environment. The study excludes factors such as pests, weeds and diseases. They focus on three countries namely Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Guatemala.
conclusions & takeaways
Findings reveal a large gap between available and needed information on perfomance of coffee agroforestry systems. Specifically, only a limited amount of information is available on each assessed parameter. To fill this gap, the study recommends standardised process-based modeling emphasizing factors and attributes such as daily weather data, long-term experiments, impact of tree pruning, sub-surface soil measurements, and carbon-nitrogen-water interactions.
Coffee agroforestry systems in Central America: I. A review of quantitative information on physiological and ecological processes. Agroforestry Systems. 2010;80:341–359. doi:10.1007/s10457-010-9294-y..
- Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH-Edinburgh), Bush Estate, Penicuik, UK
- CIRAD, Montpellier, France
- NERC, Swindon, UK
- CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica