18 Aug '12, 11am

Shade-Grown Coffee Isn't Just for the Birds

Shade-Grown Coffee Isn't Just for the Birds

© Çağan Şekercioğlu, University of Utah . The orange-billed nightingale-thrush, an insect-eating bird, lives on Costa Rican 'shade' coffee plantations. Clearing wooded "shade" plantations for open farmland doesn't just hurt biodiversity, it may also make it more difficult to control pests, and lead to crop losses, according to a new study -- making the higher price of shade-grown coffee and other products a small one to pay. Growing coffee, cacao beans, cardamom, and yerba mate underneath forest trees rather than converting such "agroforests" into farmland has long been recognized as beneficial for birds, tree biodiversity , and future coffee crops. But the recent findings add a potential economic argument for shade-grown products to the environmental one. © Çağan Şekercioğlu, University of Utah . The orange-collared manakin, a fruit-eating bird, does better living in 'agr...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/shade-grown-co...

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