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Print version ISSN 0366-5232


MENESES-R, OSCAR EDUARDO  and  ARMBRECHT, INGE. Agricultural intensification index and plant conservation in forests and Colombian coffee plantations under different management strategies. Caldasia [online]. 2018, vol.40, n.1, pp.161-176. ISSN 0366-5232.

Premontane humid forests (pm-hf) are severely degraded from anthropogenic disturbance derived from agricultural and livestock. Given the loss of connectivity among forest patches, it is necessary to study how agroecosystems, especially because an important part of biodiversity would be present in these agroecosystems. Because there is a loss of connectivity throughout these fragmented landscapes, it is necessary to develop studies on the contribution of coffee agroecosystems to biodiversity. This study evaluated plant diversity and estimated the agricultural intensification index (AI) in two coffee agronomic management strategies and forests at La Meseta at Popayán, Cauca, Colombia between 1600 and 1700 m. Thirteen local variables related to plants, such as richness, coffee density, arboreal structure, were evaluated in 20 sampling sites: eight sun coffee, eight shaded coffee plantations and four reference forests. The study found that floristic diversity decreased in function of AI, where the variables related to the arboreal component were the most sensitive to the IA measurement of intensification change. Arboreal composition consisted mainly of pioneer species, which are relevant for conservation and regional restoration purposes. It is concluded that the AI, applied to these agroecosystems helps to measure the degree of anthropogenic disturbance. Shaded coffee and forest patches are sources of plant diversity, of habitat and landscape connectivity in the highly fragmented Andean coffee landscapes; the application of the intensification index in coffee crops may constitute a useful tool to examine hypotheses related to sustainability and conservation.

Keywords : Andean forests conservation; Andean plant diversity; shaded coffee; Meseta- Popayán.

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