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Forest cover and isolation affect annual coffee productivity in the Atlantic Forest region

Grant number: 18/06330-6
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 10, 2018
Effective date (End): July 09, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Jean Paul Walter Metzger
Grantee:Adrian David González Chaves
Supervisor abroad: Lucas Alejandro Garibaldi
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, San Carlos de Bariloche (UNRN), Argentina  
Associated to the scholarship:17/19411-1 - Bee conservation and pollination service provision: using a landscape approach to reach a common goal, BP.DR

Abstract

Pollination is a natural process that affects crop productivity and stability according to crop pollination dependency. The benefices of pollinators may be enhanced through landscape management, by facilitating the spill over of pollinators from source areas to crops. However, our understanding about the role of native vegetation as pollinator source is limited to local scale studies; we still need to test if this link can be upscale for larger regions. To explore this issue, we will test if landscape structure (e.g. forest amount and configuration, coffee cover, landscape heterogeneity) can contribute to coffee productivity at the municipality level across the Atlantic forest biome in the last decade. Through this analysis, we wish to estimate the contribution of landscape structure to coffee yields independently of other socio-environmental variables. We will test those links for two coffee species, Coffea canephora that has greater dependence on pollinators than Coffea arabica. We expect to have stronger links between landscape structure and Coffea canephora productivity when compared with Coffea arabica. We will use annual land use maps to calculate landscape structure metrics. Furthermore, diversity of agricultural land uses will be assessed as a proxy for landscape composition heterogeneity. Socio-environmental variables (e.g. management, climatic and soil characteristics) will be taken into account as co-variables. Landscapes with intermediate habitat amount are capable of maintaining biodiversity while varying the most in configuration. For instance, we expect municipalities to be most productive with such landscapes structure as fragmentation enhances pollinator spill over from forest to coffee, while minimizing the proportion of isolated coffee patches. Landscape heterogeneity (which is typically associated with less intense land management and smaller crop fields) is expected to be positively related with productivity. Our work aims to provide evidence at the regional level of the benefits of integrated landscape management of croplands and forest fragments by directly relating them to crop productivity. (AU)