Research: Beneficial fungi in wild Ethiopian coffee forests

by JulieCraves on February 24, 2007

Composition of coffee shade tree species and density of indigenous arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) spores in Bonga natural coffee forest, southwestern Ethiopia. Muleta, D., F. Assefa, S. Nemomissa, and U. Granhall. 2007.  Forest Ecology and Management 241:145-154.

Mycorrhizal fungi have mutualistic associations with plants. They benefit coffee plants by enhancing growth and tolerance to nematodes, increasing phosphorus and zinc uptake in young plants, and increasing overall survival. This study looked at which shade trees were associated with the highest levels of AMF in a wild coffee forest.  Four tree species were dominant: Millettia ferruginea, Olea welwitschii, Schefflera abyssinica, and Phoenix reclinata. Millettia are legumes, and thus fix nitrogen in the soil, an added benefit.  Higher mean counts of AMF were found under leguminous shade trees compared to non-legumes. This healthy ecosystem is considered to have high potential for conservation of the wild coffee gene pool.

Posted in Research on coffee growing

Previous post:

Next post: