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Effect of Shade on Arabica Coffee Berry Disease Development: Toward an Agroforestry System to Reduce Disease Impact

December 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  12
Pages  1,320 - 1,325

J. A. Mouen Bedimo, I. Njiayouom, D. Bieysse, M. Ndoumbè Nkeng, C. Cilas, and J. L. Nottéghem

First and second authors: IRAD, Station Polyvalente de Foumbot, BP 665 Bafoussam, Cameroun; third author: CIRAD, UMR BGPI, Campus International de Baillarguet, TA41/k, 34398 Montpellier, cedex 5, France; fourth author: IRAD, Centre de Nkolbisson, BP 2123 Yaoundé Cameroun; fifth author: CIRAD, UPR Maîtrise des bioagresseurs des pérennes, Avenue Agropolis TA-A3/02, 34398, Montpellier, France; and sixth author: SupAgro, UMR BGPI, Campus International de Baillarguet, TA41/k, 34398 Montpellier, cedex 5, France.

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Accepted for publication 9 September 2008.

Coffee berry disease (CBD), caused by Colletotrichum kahawae, is a major constraint for Arabica coffee cultivation in Africa. The disease is specific to green berries and can lead to 60% harvest losses. In Cameroon, mixed cropping systems of coffee with other crops, such as fruit trees, are very widespread agricultural practices. Fruit trees are commonly planted at random on coffee farms, providing a heterogeneous shading pattern for coffee trees growing underneath. Based on a recent study of CBD, it is known that those plants can reduce disease incidence. To assess the specific effect of shade, in situ and in vitro disease development was compared between coffee trees shaded artificially by a net and trees located in full sunlight. In the field, assessments confirmed a reduction in CBD on trees grown under shade compared with those grown in full sunlight. Artificial inoculations in the laboratory showed that shade did not have any effect on the intrinsic susceptibility of coffee berries to CBD. Coffee shading mainly acts on environmental parameters in limiting disease incidence. In addition to reducing yield losses, agroforestry system may also be helpful in reducing chemical control of the disease and in diversifying coffee growers' incomes.

Additional keywords:barrier effect, splash dispersal.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society