What constitutes a dilemma for consumers wishing to shop ecologically is that when coffee is grown in a forest, which is also common, the impact on diversity is negative.
This is shown by researchers at the Department of Botany, Stockholm University, in Sweden, who recently published two articles about the role of coffee cultivation in conserving plants and animals in Ethiopia, the original home of coffee.
Coffee is one of the most important trading commodities, consumed by people around the world. Each year seven million tons of coffee is produced in 50 countries. Coffee originally grew in Ethiopia, where it still grows wild in the ever-shrinking forested areas that remain.
Researchers Kristoffer Hylander and Aaron Gove at the Department of Botany, Stockholm University, working with colleagues in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, recently published new findings about the role of coffee for the preservation of biodiversity in Ethiopia in two of the world's leading journals for conservation biology, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment and Conservation Letters, based on a research project funded by SIDA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
One of the studies shows that coffee shrubs cultivated in gardens under individual large shade trees can be home to a great diversity of forest plants. It is shown for the first time that the coffee bush itself is an important substrate for mosses and flowering plants.
"Coffee cultivation entails not only that growers preserve and nurture large trees in the cultivated landscape but also that coffee shrubs themselves house a diversity of plants. Coffee cultivation in an agricultural landscape is thus a positive force for conserving biological diversity from a landscape perspective," says Kristoffer Hylander.
The same conclusion regarding the role of coffee in the cultivation landscape is also drawn in the other study, which deals with the distribution of birds and above all forest birds in the landscape. But, besides growing coffee under shade trees in a cultivated landscape, growers also harvest coffee from forests in the regions under study.
"In some places they harvest sparse growth of rather low-producing forest coffee, while in other places they thin out the forest and replace all other wild shrubs and small trees with coffee. In contradistinction to the positive role of coffee as a creator of living environments in the open cultivated landscape, our research shows that the higher the density of coffee in the forest, the fewer species of forest birds can be found there," says Kristoffer Hylander.
One might wonder whether the aggregate impact of coffee production is positive or negative for conserving wild plants and animals in the Ethiopian landscape. Will increased interest in coffee be good for plant and animal diversity in Ethiopia by increasing the density of trees or will it impoverish the forest ecosystem through a gradual shift from forests to coffee plantations with shade trees? Kristoffer Hylander is continuing his research on ecosystems in southwestern Ethiopia with an eye to understanding the impact of coffee systems on plant and animal diversity and the role of coffee in deforestation and forest conservation.Further information
Dr. Sileshi Nemomissa in Etiopia can be reached at e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For pictures of Kristoffer Hylander or from coffee cultivation, please contact the university press service, e-mail email@example.com, phone: +46 (0)8-164090
Maria Sandqvist | idw
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel
Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology