Print version ISSN 0120-9965
DAMATTA, Fabio and RODRIGUEZ, Nelson. Sustainable production of coffee in agroforestry systems in the Neotropics: an agronomic and ecophysiological approach. Agron. colomb. [online]. 2007, vol.25, n.1, pp. 113-123. ISSN 0120-9965.
Coffee is native to tropical Africa, where it is believed to have evolved as understorey trees. For this reason, the early plantations were shaded by planting overstorey trees to simulate their natural habitat. It was found afterwards that, in many situations, coffee could grow well without shade and generally out-yields shaded coffee. These facts have led to the abandonment of shading as a regular cultural practice in several coffee regions throughout the world. Anyway, the question of whether the coffee tree would benefit or suffer from an association with shelter trees has been disputed for more than a century. In this review, agronomic and ecophysiological aspects of coffee (Coffea arabica) production under shade (agroforestry) or at full solar exposure are examined.
Keywords : Coffea arabica; shading; solar full exposure; gas exchange; productivity.