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The impact of shade tree species identity on coffee pests and diseases
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4658-7850
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1215-2648
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6020-916x
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Number of Authors: 82022 (English)In: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, ISSN 0167-8809, E-ISSN 1873-2305, Vol. 340, article id 108152Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The multifunctional role of shade trees for conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in natural forests and agroforests is well documented, yet we lack insights into the impact of shade tree species identity on pest and disease dynamics on agroforestry crops such as coffee and cacao, and its implications for management. We conducted two surveys on the impact of shade tree species identity and canopy cover on pests, diseases and a fungal hyperparasite on Arabica coffee in southwestern Ethiopia, which is one of the areas of origin of Arabica coffee. One survey was in a commercial plantation, and the other along a management gradient from only little managed coffee growing in the natural forest to intensively managed commercial plantations. To link these findings to current shade tree selection criteria, we complemented these surveys by interviews with farmers and managers. Shade tree species identity left a weak imprint on insect pest levels, and insect pests levels differed strongly in the strength and direction of their response to canopy cover. In contrast to the insect pests, the incidence of coffee leaf rust and its hyperparasite, as well as coffee berry disease, differed among shade tree species, with particularly high levels of coffee leaf rust and the hyperparasite underneath the canopy of the shade trees Acacia abyssinica and Croton macrostachyus, and coffee berry disease underneath the canopy of Acacia abyssinica and Polyscias fulva. Smallholder farmers used many criteria for selecting shade trees, such as leaf traits and competition for soil moisture, but low priority is given to the effect of shade tree species identity on pests and diseases. Our findings help to understand spatial variation in pest and disease dynamics in natural forests and agroforests, and may inform the selection of shade tree species by coffee producers and thereby contribute to ecologically-informed pest and disease management. Importantly, our finding highlight the potential for using tree identity for the sustainable management of pests and diseases, with relevance for global agroforestry systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 340, article id 108152
Keywords [en]
Canopy cover, Coffee leaf rust, Coffee berry disease, Hyperparasite, Insect pest, Shade tree species
National Category
Agricultural Science, Forestry and Fisheries Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-210268DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2022.108152ISI: 000859051400007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85137291406OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-210268DiVA, id: diva2:1702943
Available from: 2022-10-12 Created: 2022-10-12 Last updated: 2023-04-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The relationship between climate, disease and coffee yield: optimizing management for smallholder farmers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The relationship between climate, disease and coffee yield: optimizing management for smallholder farmers
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Climate change and diseases are threatening global crop production. Agroforestry systems, which are characterized by complex multispecies interactions, are considered to provide nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and pest and disease regulation. Understanding the role of the abiotic environment and species interactions in shaping diseases and yield in agroforestry systems would enable us to develop effective ecologically-informed pest and disease management under a changing climate, support sustainable agricultural practices, and maximize the benefits gained from agroforestry systems. To gain such a comprehensive understanding of what shapes pest and disease levels and yield in agroforestry systems, we need to investigate how the interactions between agroforestry system components, such as trees, crops and their associated organisms, vary in space and time, and how they are influenced by abiotic factors in terms of pests and diseases and yield. 

In this thesis, my overarching goal was to understand how microclimate and management impact major coffee pests and diseases, their natural enemies, and coffee yield, as well as farmers’ perceptions of climate change and climate-mediated changes in disease dynamics and yield, with the aim of using these insights to optimize management decisions for smallholder farmers in southwestern Ethiopia. With this aim, I selected 58 sites along a gradient of management intensity, ranging from minimal management in the natural forest to moderate management in smallholder farms and intensive management in commercial plantations. As an approach, I combined observational and interview studies to examine i) the impact of shade tree species identity and canopy cover on coffee pests and diseases, ii) the effect of climate and management on coffee berry disease and yield, iii) the impact of climate on a host-hyperparasite interaction, and iv) farmers’ perceptions of climate change and climate-mediated changes in disease dynamics and yield. 

I found that tree identity affected the incidence and severity of coffee diseases, whereas insect pests were strongly affected by canopy cover, but in a species-specific way (I).  Both climate and management affected coffee berry disease and yield. Importantly, the effect of climatic variables on disease and yield differed strongly between the developmental stages from flowering to ripening (II). In chapter (III), I found that the climatic niches of coffee leaf rust and its hyperparasite differed, with coffee leaf rust severity preferring high maximum temperatures, whereas the hyperparasite preferred cold nights. The interviews revealed that the majority of farmers perceived long-term changes in one or more aspects of the climate, and the majority of farmers perceived an increase in coffee leaf rust and a decrease in coffee berry disease. Climate data also supported farmers’ knowledge on climate-disease-yield relationships (IV). 

Taken together, my thesis advances our understanding of the relationship between climate and management of coffee pests, diseases and yield, and this may contribute to the development of ecologically-informed pest and disease management strategies for coffee production and other agroforestry crops.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2023. p. 48
Keywords
Agroforestry, Arabica coffee, climate change, fungal disease, host-hyperparasite interaction, insect pest, minimum temperature and maximum temperature, shade cover, shade tree species, smallholder farmers, yield
National Category
Agricultural Science
Research subject
Ecology and Evolution
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-216221 (URN)978-91-8014-278-6 (ISBN)978-91-8014-279-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-05-31, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
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Available from: 2023-05-08 Created: 2023-04-10 Last updated: 2023-04-24Bibliographically approved

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Nurihun, Biruk AyalewHylander, KristofferZewdie, BeyeneTack, Ayco J. M.

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