Coffee Agroforestry Systems in Central America: II. Development of a Simple Process-Based Model and Preliminary Results
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.
research goals & methods
The article presents a process-based model for a coffee-agroforestry system. To build the model, authors considered major characteristics that affect productivity and the environment in a coffee-shade tree system namely; weather, soil, tree and coffee management. The paper evaluates whether the model can account for commonly observed behaviour of a coffee-agroforestry systems in Central America.
conclusions & takeaways
While the authors acknowledge that data remains insufficient for the model to be complete, the predicted results are similar to observed measurements in shade-coffee systems, and are qualitatively consistent with literature on system productivity and balance. The model may possibly be used to consider trade-offs, such as the balance between maximizing coffee and tree productivity.
Coffee agroforestry systems in Central America: II. Development of a simple process-based model and preliminary results. Agroforestry Systems. 2010;80:361–378. doi:10.1007/s10457-010-9291-1..
- Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH-Edinburgh), Bush Estate, Penicuik, UK
- CIRAD, Montpellier, France
- NERC, Swindon, UK
- CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica