Linking Physiological Response to Shade with Growth and Yield in Different Coffee Agroforestry Systems in Ecuadorian Amazonia
Kevin Piato1, Cristian Subía García2, Darío Calderón2, François Lefort3, Lindsey Norgrove1
1Bern University of Applied Sciences, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, Switzerland
We assessed how agroforestry shade cover, shade types and farming practices affected Coffea canephora (robusta) growth, physiology and yield at 5 years old, in Ecuadorian Amazonia. We hypothesised that shade would increase chlorophyll concentrations, further enhanced by nitrogen-fixing trees and would consequently increase yields. The experiment was planted in 2015 and the five treatments were 1) full sun; 2) Myroxylon balsamum; or two N-fixing trees 3) Inga edulis; 4) Erythrina spp. or 5) Erythrina spp. plus M. balsamum. Four farming practices assessed were: conventional farming at either 1) moderate or 2) intensified input and organic farming at 3) low or 4) intensified input. The experiment was a RCBD with 20 treatment combinations, replicated three times. Each plot was zoned according to distance from the nearest shade tree and measurements were weighted according to the prevalence of each zone in order to compute plot means. Shade cover above coffee was assessed with an MP-200 pyranometer on 4 coffee plants for each zone defined in 2018. Two chlorophyll measurements were made per leaf and four leaves per branch in 2 pairs of leaves at the middle third of the branch with an MP-100 chlorophyll meter. One branch was measured per plant, which resulted in 8 measures per plant on 18 plants per plot. Berry yields are being measured and will be completed in June 2020.
Keywords: Chlorophyll concentration meter, Ecuadorian Amazon region, growth, pyranometer, robusta agroforestry system, shade, yield
Contact Address: Kevin Piato, Bern University of Applied Sciences, School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, Route de Bertigny 28, 1700 Fribourg, Switzerland, e-mail: kevin.piatostudents.bfh.ch