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Agroforestry associating coffee and Inga densiflora results in complementarity for water uptake and decreases deep drainage in Costa Rica

Cannavo P., Sansoulet J., Harmand J.M., Siles Gutierrez P., Dreyer E., Vaast P.. 2011. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 140 (1-2) : p. 1-13.

DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2010.11.005

The shade impact by Inga densiflora on water use and drainage in a coffee agroforestry system (AFS) was compared to coffee monoculture (MC) in Costa Rica. Rainfall interception, transpiration, runoff and soil water content were monitored during 3 years. Runoff was lower in AFS than MC (5.4 and 8.4% of total rainfall, respectively) and a higher water infiltration was observed under AFS. Still, the higher combined rainfall interception + transpiration of coffee and shade trees in AFS resulted in a lower drainage than in MC. No coffee water stress was recorded either in AFS or MC as relative extractable soil water remained above 20% during the dry seasons. Time course of soil water content showed enhanced access to soil water between 100 and 200cm depth in AFS. This suggests complementarity for soil water between coffee and shade trees. The model HYDRUS 1D predicted that drainage at 200cm depth accounted for a large fraction of annual rainfall (68% for MC and 62% for AFS). Climatic scenario simulations showed (1) a potential competition for water between coffee and shade trees when the dry season was extended by 4-6 weeks compared to actual, and (2) a severe reduction in annual drainage, but without competition for water when rainfall was reduced down to 40% of the actual.

Mots-clés : coffea arabica; inga; changement climatique; agroforesterie; eau du sol; costa rica; inga densiflora

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