Research: Higher beetle diversity in shade coffee, more pests in sun

by JulieCraves on October 21, 2008

Simplification of a coffee foliage-dwelling beetle community under low-shade management. C. E. Gordon, B. McGillb, G.Ibarra-NÁºÁ±ezc, R. Greenberg, and I. Perfecto. 2008. Basic and Applied Ecology, in press. doi:10.1016/j.baae.2008.04.004

This study looked at beetle abundance and diversity in coffee farms with high shade or low shade in the Soconusco region of the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico. Farms with low shade systems had lower or equal number of individual beetles, but fewer and more similar species than high shade systems. One beetle species, the dreaded coffee berry borer, la broca (Hypothenemus hampei), however, was far more abundant in the low shade farms (201 total on the low shade farms versus 23 on the high shade farms).

Another example of how shade may help reduce costs to the farmer, in this case, pest control.

Revised on November 2, 2010

Posted in Research on coffee growing

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