Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): S.M. Philpott; W.J. Arendt; I. Armbrecht; P. Bichier; T.V. Diestch; C. Gordon; R. Greenberg; I. Perfecto; R. Reynoso-Santos; L. Soto-Pinto; C. Tejeda-Cruz; G. Williams-Linera; J. Valenzuela; J.M. Zolotoff
    Date: 2008
    Source: Conservation Biology. 22(5):1093-1105.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (463.25 KB)


    Studies have documented biodiversity losses due to intensification of coffee management (reduction in canopy richness and complexity). Nevertheless, questions remain regarding relative sensitivity of different taxa, habitat specialists, and functional groups, and whether implications for biodiversity conservation vary across regions.We quantitatively reviewed data from ant, bird, and tree biodiversity studies in coffee agroecosystems to address the following questions: Does species richness decline with intensification or within individual vegetation characteristics? Are there significant losses of species richness in coffee-management systems compared with forests? Is species loss greater for forest species or for particular functional groups? and Are ants or birds more strongly affected by intensification? Across studies, ant and bird richness declined with management intensification and with changes in vegetation. Species richness of all ants and birds and of forest ant and bird species was lower in most coffee agroecosystems than in forests, but rustic coffee (grown under native forest canopies) had equal or greater ant and bird richness than nearby forests. Sun coffee (grown without canopy trees) sustained the highest species losses, and species loss of forest ant, bird, and tree species increased with management intensity. Losses of ant and bird species were similar, although losses of forest ants were more drastic in rustic coffee. Richness of migratory birds and of birds that forage across vegetation strata was less affected by intensification than richness of resident, canopy, and understory bird species. Rustic farms protected more species than other coffee systems, and loss of species depended greatly on habitat specialization and functional traits. We recommend that forest be protected, rustic coffee be promoted, and intensive coffee farms be restored by augmenting native tree density and richness and allowing growth of epiphytes. We also recommend that future research focus on potential trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and farmer livelihoods stemming from coffee production.

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Philpott, S.M.; Arendt, W.J.; Armbrecht, I.; Bichier, P.; Diestch, T.V.; Gordon, C.; Greenberg, R.; Perfecto, I.; Reynoso-Santos, R.; Soto-Pinto, L.; Tejeda-Cruz, C.; Williams-Linera, G.; Valenzuela, J.; Zolotoff, J.M. 2008. Biodiversity loss in Latin America coffee landscapes: review of the evidence on ants, birds, and trees. Conservation Biology. 22(5):1093-1105.


    Google Scholar


    agroecosystem, biodiversity, coffee production systems, meta-analysis, shade-grown coffee, site characteristics, sun-grown coffee

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page