Ethiopia: Shade grown coffee in uncleared forests decreases bird diversity

Coffee, an indigenous shrub in Ethiopia, is harvested from forests and
farmland where it’s grown in small patches under isolated shade trees.
Curtin Post Doctoral Researcher in Environmental Biology, Aaron Gove,
who led the study, found that contrary to existing research, coffee
grown in forest patches led to a decline in forest birds, while coffee
cultivated on degraded farmland could actually restore bird habitat.

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After testing almost 40 farm and forest remnant sites, Dr Gove and his colleagues suggested that coffee cultivation in open farmlands should be encouraged as part of a broader landscape-level conservation scheme.

“This is important because it promotes bird diversity as trees
are retained for shade, while coffee cultivation in forests should be
limited as the simplification of the forest structure reduces bird

Allowing some coffee cultivation in forests is, however, one important way of ensuring that forests are valued and retained at a local level,” he said. Dr. Gove said that despite being one of Africa’s largest producers of coffee, Ethiopia was still in the early stages of environmental certification and this study was the first to investigate the effects of coffee management practices on bird assemblages in this ecosystem.

“In order to support biodiversity conservation, cultivation practices for ecologically-friendly coffee in Ethiopia should take the region’s complex and distinct ecological needs into account,” he said.

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Comments (1)

lalaJune 4th, 2011 at 7:26 pm

i think is amzing to live that kind of place in my life and i will

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