Resource Details

Coffee agroforestry systems in Central America: II. Development of a simple process-based model and preliminary results

Literature: Journal Articles

van Oijen, M., Dauzat, J., Harmand, J.M., Lawson, G. & Vaast, P. 2010, "Coffee agroforestry systems in Central America: II. Development of a simple process-based model and preliminary results," Agroforestry Systems, vol. 80, no. 3, pp. 361-378.

Contact Info

Corresponding author:


  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH-Edinburgh), Bush Estate, Penicuik, EH26 0QB UK
  • CIRAD, Montpellier, France
  • NERC, Swindon, UK
  • CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica


Agroforestry Systems

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Species Info

  • Cordia alliodora
  • Erythrina poeppigiana (exotic)
  • Eucalyptus deglupta (exotic)
  • Gliricidia sepium
  • Inga densiflora
  • Terminalia ivorensis (exotic)


  • The article provides information on a simple dynamic model of coffee agroforestry systems in Central America.
  • The response of vegetative physiology and the reproductive growth of coffee plants is modeled in response to different growing conditions, including factors such as light competition, water and nutrients.
  • This model can also be used to predict changes based on different management treatments, like thinning, spacing, pruning and fertilization. 
  • The model may be possibly be used to consider trade-offs, such as the balance between maximizing coffee and tree productivity.
  • While the authors acknowledge that the data available remains insufficient for the model to be complete, the model-predicted results are similar to observed measurements in shade-coffee systems.
  • A number of preliminary conclusions are made: (1) In general, Central American coffee fields are over fertilized, and the quantity of fertilizer may be reduced without affecting yields; (2) Wood volume may be more positively affected by nitrogen fertilization than coffee yield; (3) Higher tree density tends to decrease coffee yield, while pruning shade trees tends to increase coffee yield but reduce tree productivity.
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