Organic farming practices and shade trees reduce pest infestations in robusta coffee systems in Amazonia

Piato, Kevin (School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape (hepia), HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland ; Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH), Zollikofen, Switzerland) ; Subia, Cristian (National Institute of Agronomical Research (INIAP)-Central Experimental Station of Amazonia, km 3 Vía Sacha-San Carlos, Cantoón, La Joya de los Sachas, Ecuador) ; Pico, Jimmy (National Institute of Agronomical Research (INIAP)-Central Experimental Station of Amazonia, km 3 Vía Sacha-San Carlos, Cantoón, La Joya de los Sachas, Ecuador) ; Calderon, Dario (National Institute of Agronomical Research (INIAP)-Central Experimental Station of Amazonia, km 3 Vía Sacha-San Carlos, Cantoón, La Joya de los Sachas, Ecuador) ; Norgrove, Lindsey (Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH), Zollikofen, Switzerland) ; Lefort, François (School of Engineering, Architecture and Landscape (hepia), HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

Coffee agroforestry systems could reconcile agricultural and environmental objectives. While pests and diseases can reduce yield, their interactions with shade and nutrition have been rarely researched, and are particularly lacking in perennial systems. We hypothesized that intermediate shade levels could reduce coffee pests while excess shade could favor fungal diseases. We hypothesized that organic rather than mineral fertilization would better synchronize with nutrient uptake and higher nutrient inputs would be associated with reduced pest and disease damage due to higher plant vigor, yet effects would be less obvious in shaded plots as coffee growth would be light-limited. Using three-year-old trees of Coffea canephora var. Robusta (robusta coffee) in the Ecuadorian Amazon, we compared a full-sun system with four shading methods creating different shade levels: (1) Myroxylon balsamum; (2) Inga edulis; (3) Erythrina spp.; or, (4) Erythrina spp. plus Myroxylon balsamum. Conventional farming at either (1) moderate or (2) intensified input and organic farming at (3) low or (4) intensified input were compared in a split-plot design with shade as the main plot factor and farming practice as the sub-plot factor. The infestation of the following pests and disease incidences were evaluated monthly during the dry season: brown twig beetle (Xylosandrus morigerus), coffee leaf miner (Leucoptera coffeella), coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei), anthracnose disease (Colletotrichum spp.), thread blight (Pellicularia koleroga), and cercospora leaf spot (Cercospora coffeicola). Coffee berry borer and brown twig beetle infestation were both reduced by 7% in intensified organic treatments compared to intensified conventional treatments. Colonization of coffee berry borer holes in coffee berries by the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana was also assessed. Brown twig beetle infestation was significantly higher under full sun than under Inga edulis, yet no other shade effects were detected. We demonstrate for the first time how intensified input use might promote pest populations and thus ultimately lead to robusta coffee yield losses.


Keywords:
Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Ingénierie et Architecture
School:
HEPIA - Genève
Institute:
inTNE - Institut Terre-Nature-Environnement
Date:
2021-04
Pagination:
14 p.
Published in:
Life
Numeration (vol. no.):
2021, vol. 11, no. 5, article no. 413
DOI:
ISSN:
2075-1729
Appears in Collection:



 Record created 2021-05-04, last modified 2021-05-07

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