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Carbon sequestration in aerial biomass and derived products from coffee agroforestry systems in Central America

Harmand J.M., Hergoualc'h K., De Miguel S., Dzib B., Siles P., Vaast P., Locatelli B.. 2007. In : Second International Symposium on Multi-Strata agroforestry systems with perennial crops: Making ecosystem services count for farmers, consumers and the environment, September 17-21, 2007 Turrialba, Costa Rica. Oral and posters presentations. Turrialba : CATIE, 4 p.. International Symposium on Multi-Strata Agroforestry Systems with Perennial Crops: Making Ecosystem Services Count for Farmers, Consumers and the Environment. 2, 2007-09-17/2007-09-21, Turrialba (Costa Rica).

For five years, research was undertaken on the potential of shade trees introduced in coffee (Coffea arabica) plantations in Central America to increase plant biomass and litter, and hence carbon (C) sequestration. A database on C stored in soil and plant biomass of coffee agroforestry systems (AFS) in Central America was developed using already published information and data collected in on-going experiments and in surveyed coffee farms. Compared to the amount of C in aerial phytomass (biomass + litter) of 7 year old full sun coffee systems, the total C in aerial phytomass of coffee systems shaded by Eucalyptus deglupta (110 shade trees ha-1) or by Inga densiflora (280 shade trees ha-1), was increased by a factor 2.5. For an approximately ten year period, results from our database show that the conversion of coffee monoculture to AFS resulted in an additional mean annual increment in aerial phytomass varying from 1 t C ha-1 yr-1 in the case of regulated shading by Erythrina poeppigiana, to 1.7 - 3.1 t C ha-1 yr-1 in the case of timber tree shading. Depending on the derived products (fuelwood for coffee stems and Inga species; pallets, logs, etc for timber species) and their life span, various wood production and harvesting scenarios in coffee AFS were evaluated with respect to C sequestration.
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