Resource Details

Shade management in coffee and cacao plantations

Literature: Journal Articles Available at NO COST

Beer, J., Muschler, R., Kass, D. & Somarriba, E. 1998, "Shade management in coffee and cacao plantations," Agroforestry Systems, vol. 38, no. 1-3, pp. 139-164.

Contact Info

Corresponding Author:


  • Area of Watersheds and Agroforestry Systems, CATIE Apdo. 44 Turrialba Costa Rica



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Agroforestry Systems

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Species Info

  • Coffea spp. (exotic)
  • Theobroma cacao
  • Cordia alliodora
  • Erythrina poeppigiana (exotic)
  • Inga spp.
  • Gliricidia sepium
  • Calliandra spp.
  • Cedrela odorata


  • This article presents a thorough overview of the ecological effects of using shade trees in coffee and cacao plantations.
  • Topics discussed include: soil quality, composition and erosion; nitrogen fixation; nutrient cycling; greenhouse gases; fertilizer contamination; light availability; temperature, wind speed and humidity; crop yields and quality; pest, diseases, and weeds; and the potential for buffer zone management and conservation.
  • The productivity of shade trees used in coffee and cacao agroforestry systems is also covered, with information given about timber, fruit, and fuelwood production.
  • The authors conclude with several recommendations for future research: (1) competition between trees and crops; (2) coffee pests and diseases; and (3) sustainability and environmental benefits.


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