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Effects of Coffee Management on Deforestation Rates and Forest Integrity
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Conservation Biology, ISSN 0888-8892, E-ISSN 1523-1739, Vol. 27, no 5, 1031-1040 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Knowledge about how forest margins are utilized can be crucial for a general understanding of changes in forest cover, forest structure, and biodiversity across landscapes. We studied forest-agriculture transitions in southwestern Ethiopia and hypothesized that the presence of coffee (Coffea arabica)decreases deforestation rates because of coffee's importance to local economies and its widespread occurrence in forests and forest margins. Using satellite images and elevation data, we compared changes in forest cover over 37 years (1973-2010) across elevations in 2 forest-agriculture mosaic landscapes (1100 km(2) around Bonga and 3000 km(2) in Goma-Gera). In the field in the Bonga area, we determined coffee cover and forest structure in 40 forest margins that differed in time since deforestation. Both the absolute and relative deforestation rates were lower at coffee-growing elevations compared with at higher elevations (-10/20% vs. -40/50% comparing relative rates at 1800 m asl and 2300-2500 m asl, respectively). Within the coffee-growing elevation, the proportion of sites with high coffee cover (>20%) was significantly higher in stable margins (42% of sites that had been in the same location for the entire period) than in recently changed margins (0% of sites where expansion of annual crops had changed the margin). Disturbance level and forest structure did not differ between sites with 30% or 3% coffee. However, a growing body of literature on gradients of coffee management in Ethiopia reports coffee's negative effects on abundances of forest-specialist species. Even if the presence of coffee slows down the conversion of forest to annual-crop agriculture, there is a risk that an intensification of coffee management will still threaten forest biodiversity, including the genetic diversity of wild coffee. Conservation policy for Ethiopian forests thus needs to develop strategies that acknowledge that forests without coffee production may have higher deforestation risks than forests with coffee production and that forests with coffee production often have lower biodiversity value. Efectos de la Administracion Cafetalera sobre las Tasas de Deforestacion y la Integridad de los Bosques Resumen El conocimiento sobre como se utilizan los margenes de los bosques puede ser crucial para el entendimiento general de los cambios en la cubierta boscosa, la estructura de los bosques y la biodiversidad en el paisaje. Estudiamos transiciones bosque-agricultura en el suroeste de Etiopia y partimos de la hipotesis de que la presencia del cafe (Coffea arabica) disminuye las tasas de deforestacion por la importancia del cafe para las economias locales y su ocurrencia extensa en los bosques y los margenes de estos. Usando imagenes de satelite e informacion de elevacion, comparamos los cambios en la cubierta boscosa a traves de 37 anos (1973-2010) a lo largo de elevaciones en 2 paisajes mosaico de bosque y sembradios (1100 km(2) alrededor de Bonga y 3000 km(2) en Goma-Gera). En el campo en el area de Bonga determinamos la cobertura de cafe y la estructura del bosque en 40 margenes de bosque que difirieron en el tiempo desde la deforestacion. Tanto la tasa absoluta como la relativa de deforestacion fueron mas bajas en las elevaciones donde se cultiva cafe comparadas con las de elevaciones mas altas (-10/20% vs. -40/50% comparando tasas relativas en 1800 msnm y 2300-2500 msnm, respectivamente). Dentro de la elevacion donde se cultiva cafe, la proporcion de sitios con una alta cobertura de cafe (>20%) fue significativamente mas alta en los margenes estables (42% de los sitios que habian estado en la misma localidad durante el periodo entero) que en los margenes con cambios recientes (0% de los sitios donde la expansion anual de cultivos habian alterado el margen). El nivel de perturbacion y de estructura del bosque no difirio entre los sitios con 30% o 3% de cafe. Sin embargo, un creciente cuerpo de literatura sobre los gradientes de administracion del cafe en Etiopia reportan los efectos negativos del cafe sobre la abundancia de especies especialistas de bosques. Aunque sea cierto que la presencia de cafe disminuye la conversion de bosque a sembradios de cosecha anual, existe el riesgo de que la intensificacion de la administracion de cafe todavia amenace la biodiversidad del bosque, incluyendo la diversidad genetica del cafe silvestre. La politica de conservacion para los bosques etiopes entonces debe desarrollar estrategias que reconozcan que los bosques sin produccion cafetalera pueden tener riesgos mayores de deforestacion que los bosques con produccion cafetalera y que los bosques con produccion cafetalera seguido tienen un valor bajo de biodiversidad.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 27, no 5, 1031-1040 p.
Keyword [en]
certification, degradation, edge effects, Ethiopia, fragmentation, homogenization, Landsat, remote sensing, tropical forest, bosque tropical, certificacion, degradacion, efecto de borde, Etiopia, fragmentacion, homogenizacion, percepcion remota
National Category
Environmental Sciences Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95752DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12079ISI: 000324931700017OAI: diva2:662239


Available from: 2013-11-06 Created: 2013-11-04 Last updated: 2013-11-06Bibliographically approved

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