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quantity and quality

The fauna on coffee plantations

Coffee plantation in Tanzania: animals eat the insects that attack plants

WIKIMEDIA COMMONSCoffee plantation in Tanzania: animals eat the insects that attack plantsWIKIMEDIA COMMONS

It is not a good idea to clear an area in order to plant only coffee, according to a study from the University of Würzburg, Germany. The researchers assessed the influence of other plants and animals on the quantity and quality (size) of the berries of the coffee shrub in three types of plantations: gardens; coffee shrubs planted in the shade; and coffee fields consisting of a variety that tolerates sun and resists fungi, as is common in Tanzania. In each environment, the study compared the production of coffee plants visited by birds, bats, and pollinating insects against others to which some of these animals had no access. In all cases, the presence of animals increased coffee production. In the presence of birds and bats, production increased 10%, probably because the animals eat the insects that attack the plants. When bees and pollinators are present, the berries are 7% heavier (Proceedings of the Royal Society B, February 5, 2014)