Designing Pest-Suppressive Multistrata Perennial Crop Systems: Shade-Grown Coffee in Central America
This paper analyzes opportunities to realize the benefits of the presence microflora and fauna in coffee plantations by considering species selection, complimentary characteristics, density, and spatial arrangement of tree species . This study addresses reducing the presence of pests and pathogens such as leaf rust, coffee leaf minor, berry borer, and the American leaf spot. The authors hypothesize that for every soil and climate for coffee, a multistrata system creates a micro-environment that can create a complex ecosystem to resist pests as a whole as opposed to a pest-by-pest strategy.
Conclusions & Takeaways
The duration of dry and rainy seasons help determine the tree crop species and the amount of shade required to provide a habitat for the microfauna that helps combat the pests (and pathogens). Shade from Inga paterna and Erythrina poeppigiana help mitigate extreme variations in climate by lowering leaf and soil temperatures (which improves photosynthesis), reduced the amount of weeds (through leaf litter as well as shade), and reduced the vapor pressure. However, some studies suggest that shade contributes to higher rates of infection indicating that one size does not fit all. More research is required.
Designing pest-suppressive multistrata perennial crop systems: shade-grown coffee in Central America. Agroforestry Systems. 2001;53:151–170. doi:10.1023/a:1013372403359..
- Department of Ecological Agriculture, Turrialba, Costa Rica