A comparison of coffee floral traits under two different agricultural practices - Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew research repository
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Journal article

A comparison of coffee floral traits under two different agricultural practices

14 May 2019

Abstract

Floral traits and rewards are important in mediating interactions between plants and pollinators. Agricultural management practices can affect abiotic factors known to influence floral traits; however, our understanding of the links between agricultural practices and floral trait expression is still poorly understood. Variation in floral morphological, nectar, and pollen traits of two important agricultural species, Coffea arabica and C. canephora, was assessed under different agricultural practices (sun and shade). Corolla diameter and corolla tube length were larger and pollen total nitrogen content greater in shade plantations of C. canephora than sun plantations. Corolla tube length and anther filament length were larger in shade plantations of C. arabica. No effect of agricultural practice was found on nectar volume, sugar or caffeine concentrations, or pollen production. Pollen total nitrogen content was lower in sun than shade plantations of C. canephora, but no difference was found between sun and shade for C. arabica. This study provides baseline data on the influence of agronomic practices on C. arabica and C. canephora floral traits and also helps fill a gap in knowledge about the effects of shade trees on floral traits, which can be pertinent to other agroforestry systems.

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