The secret to good coffee? Birds and bees

The secret to good coffee?  Birds and bees

The main points of this love story? A bee (euglossa heterosticta), a cape plant, and a bird (rufous capped warbler). Photos by CATIE and John van Dort. Composite by Mary Kueser. Found: CATIE and John van Dort. Composite by Mary Kueser.

New research has shown that coffee beans become more abundant when birds and bees come together to protect and pollinate coffee plants.

Without these wing assistants, who travel thousands of miles, coffee farmers would see a 25% drop in crops, a loss of $ 1,066 per acre of coffee.

It’s critical for the $ 26 billion coffee industry – with consumers, farmers, and companies relying on free labor of nature for their morning buzz – but there’s more research. .

The next lesson is in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences He was the first to show that, using real experiments on 30 cups of coffee, the studies of nature – in this case, bee pollination and bird care – were significantly higher. meeting before their lessons.

“So far, researchers have individually calculated the benefits of the species, and then simply combined them,” said lead author Alejandra Martínez-Salinas of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center. (CATIE). “But it’s a relationship system, full of important synergies and trade -offs. We demonstrate the ecological importance and value of these relationships, in one of the first experiments on real scales in real farmers.”

“These results suggest that past evaluations of ecosystem services – including major global initiatives such as IPBES – can underestimate the biodiversity benefits provided to agriculture and human life,” he said. ”said Taylor Ricketts of the University of Vermont’s Gund Institute for Environment. “These good relationships make ecological services more valuable than isolation.”

For the experiment, researchers from the United States and the United States created coffee plants among 30 farmers, excluding birds and bees with a combination of large nets and nets. Small lace bag. They tried four main features: pest control, pollination, no pest and bee production, and finally, a natural environment, an independent environment. and bees and birds pollinate and eat insects like the coffee berry borer, one of the worst things about coffee production in the world.

The combined positive effects of birds and bees on egg arrangement, egg weight, and fruit uniformity – the main factors in quality and cost – are even greater. rather than their own consequences, the study shows. Without birds and bees, the average crop would drop by about 25%, estimated at about $ 1,066 per acre.

“One of the main reasons we measure these lessons is to help prevent and maintain many of the traits that we rely on, and sometimes just take away,” said Natalia Aristizábal, a Ph.D. moho at UVM’s Gund Institute for Environment and Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. “Birds, bees, and millions of other species support our lives and survival, but also face threats such as destruction of habitat and climate change. ”

One of the most amazing things about the research is that many of the birds that provide pest control to coffee plants in Costa Rica have migrated thousands of miles from Canada and the U.S., including Vermont, where the UVM group is created. The group is studying the impact of changing agricultural lands on the ability of birds and bees to provide benefits to copying. They are supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act.

In Martínez-Salinas (Nicaragua), Ricketts (US), Aristizábal (Colombia), the global research team from CATIE includes Adina Chain-Guadarrama (Mexico), Sergio Vilchez Mendoza (Nicaragua), and Rolando Cerda (Bolivia). .

The lesson will be published PNAS between April 4-8.

Changing the climate is a buzzkill for coffee lovers

More information:
Interaction with pest control and pollination services in coffee systems, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022).

Presented by the University of Vermont

Directions: The secret to good coffee? Birds and Bees (2022, April 4) was downloaded on April 4, 2022 from

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