Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Biology


Heather P. Griscom

Mikaela Schmitt-Harsh

Wayne S. Teel


Coffee agroforestry systems have received increased attention in recent decades because of their capacity to improve agricultural sustainability. Coffee (Coffea arabica), one of the most economically important crops, is widespread throughout the tropics and can have serious environmental impacts. To ensure sustainable coffee production, it is critical that coffee systems are maintained to maximize carbon storage and minimize susceptibility to pests and diseases. This study reviews the history of coffee production, from forested coffee systems to industrial coffee monocultures. We describe the five classifications for coffee systems, and use them as a framework to compare aboveground carbon stocks across management regimes and site conditions with a specific focus on coffee tree carbon stocks. Finally, we synthesize literature on coffee pests and diseases under varied shade management and investigate how these relationships may be altered with future climate change. Although no direct relationship was found between levels of shade management and coffee carbon stocks, site conditions such as precipitation and temperature appear to influence coffee carbon stocks depending on whether the coffee is grown in sun or shade. Additionally, the relationship between shade management and the prevalence of pests and diseases was unclear. Increasing our understanding of how site conditions and system shade management affect coffee carbon stocks and the prevalence of pests and diseases will allow for improved land-use planning, greater resiliency of coffee systems, and increased potential for agroforests to play a role in climate mitigation.

Included in

Agriculture Commons



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