Impact of Canavalia Cover Crop Management in Coffea arabica L. on Plant-Invertebrate Associations

The Open Agriculture Journal 28 Oct 2008 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874331500802010084


Coffee ecosystems in the Soconusco, Chiapas, Mexico, with Coffea arabica are characterized by different cropping intensities, high diversity of soil and climate conditions. The main objective of this long-term study was the analysis of comprehensive relations between soil cover and weed-insect association. Biomass and weed cover community composition were analyzed together with weed-insect associations in coffee plantations that varied according to living soil cover management, weed control measures and coffee harvest traditions. Canavalia reduced significantly the presence of weeds. The treatment Canavalia + mulching under coffee plants produced with 3810 kg ha-1 the significantly highest average coffee berry yield, peaking at 5457 kg ha-1 in 2003. Significant correlations exist between Canavalia + weed management, year and coffee yield. The effects of different soil cover management regimes on the comparative biodiversity structures of weed – insects were evaluated between November 2002 and November 2003. Treatments with C. ensiformis supported smaller numbers of coffee berry borer (CBB) throughout the year. These data might be useful for new strategies in ecological coffee production.

Keywords: Canavalia, soil cover, weed-insect-associations, coffee yield, coffee berry borer.
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