Effects of Management Practices on Coffee Productivity and Herbaceous Species Diversity in Agroforestry Systems
This article discusses how to manage an agroforestry coffee system to maintain crop productivity while also promoting biodiversity in Costa Rica.
Research Goals & Methods
Coffee (Coffea arabica var caturra) was planted underneath three native shade species (Terminalia amazonia, Erythrina poeppigiana, and Chloroleucon eurycyclum), both separately and in combination, and also as a non-shaded coffee monoculture. Furthermore, the various plots were treated with either organic or chemical inputs at two intensity levels. Both vegetative and crop productivity were measured across all combinations of shade species and management practices.
Conclusions & Takeaways
High-intensity inputs, both organic and chemical, caused a sharp decrease in herbaceous species richness compared to medium-intensity inputs suggesting that the latter may be optimal for balancing optimal coffee yields with biodiversity conservation. Undesirable grass species were less common in the shaded plots compared to the full sun monoculture. The authors suggest that the shaded coffee grown in the plot including all three native shade species would probably provide the most benefits to farmers, including shade, mulch, and timber.
Rossi, E., Montagnini, F. and Melo-Virginio-Filho, E. 2011. Effects of Management Practices on Coffee Productivity and Herbaceous Species Diversity in Agroforestry Systems in Agroforestry as a Tool for Landscape Restoration, eds. F. Montagnini, W. Francesconi & E. Rossi, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York, pp. 115-132.
- School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT
- Graduate School of Geography, Clark University, Worchester, MA
- Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza, (CATIE), Turrialba, Costa Rica