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Coffee production, nitrate leaching and N2O emission in Coffea arabica systems in Costa Rica according to fertilization and shade management

Harmand J.M., Chaves V., Cannavo P., Dionisio L., Zeller B., Hergoualc'h K., Siles P., Vaast P., Oliver R., Beer J., Dambrine E.. 2010. In : Wery Jacques (ed.), Shili-Touzi I. (ed.), Perrin A. (ed.). Proceedings of Agro 2010 : the XIth ESA Congress, August 29th - September 3rd, 2010, Montpellier, France. Montpellier : Agropolis international, p. 301-302. ESA Congress. 11, 2010-08-29/2010-09-03, Montpellier (France).

In Costa Rica, heavily fertilized Coffea arabica plantations grown on permeable soils under high rainfalls are one of the suspected causes of nitrate (NO3) pollution of groundwater and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions to the atmosphere (Babbar and Zak, 1995). The inclusion of trees in coffee plantations may limit nutrient leaching by increasing nutrient uptake but may also reduce coffee production as a result of competition for light, water and soil nutrients. Whereas many coffee agroforestry systems (AFS) in Costa Rica are still conventionally managed (using high mineral N fertilization rates), alternative technologies using organic fertilizers and leguminous shade trees are extending. This study presents some results on the effects of N fertilization and shade management on coffee production, permanent biomass accumulation, NO3- leaching and N2O emissions, in contrasting Costa Rican coffee systems.

Mots-clés : coffea arabica; agroforesterie; azote; costa rica

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