Zanmi Kafe: Coffee Agroecology and Ant Diversity in Haiti

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Authors
Fripp, Geanina
McGrath, Deborah
Summers, Scott
Issue Date
2016-04-17
Type
Thesis
Keywords
University of the South , Sewanee, Tennessee , Sewanee Senior Honors Theses 2016 , Biology Department , Agroecology , biodiversity , ecosystem services , carbon payments , carbon sequestration , Haiti's Central Plateau , Shade-coffee , Zanmi Kafe
Abstract
Zanmi Kafe is a coffee-based agroforestry reforestation project in the Central Plateau of Haiti, that aims to promote the adoption of more sustainable agroecosystems in order to improve livelihoods and foster community development. Coffee provides a livelihood for many small farmers throughout the tropics, however due to the high demand for coffee, many small coffee farms are undergoing agricultural intensification to increase coffee yields. Many studies have investigated the effects of the transformation of coffee agroecosystems from shaded to unshaded systems on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Sun coffee systems have been correlated with a decrease in biodiversity and ecosystem services while shade coffee systems support higher biodiversity and ecosystem services. Some coffee agroecosystems in the Central Plateau of Haiti are undergoing transformation from disturbed, unshaded to less disturbed, shaded systems. In this study we examined the ant fauna present on 15 farms in order to monitor future changes in the conditions of the agroecosystems. We also examined the coffee pests/diseases present to determine if there was an association between ant diversity and abundance and the presence of coffee pests/disease. We collected 21 species of ants from 17 genera and Solenopsis geminata was the dominant species on all the farms. We recorded the presence of coffee rust (Hemileia vastatrix), the coffee leaf miner (Leucoptera coffeella), and the green coffee scale (Coccus viridis) on the coffee seedlings. There was no statistically significant difference between the ant diversity and the abundance of Solenopsis geminata and the presence of coffee pests on the farms. However, a few trends were observed and future monitoring of the ant fauna and pests is critical in maintaining the health and production of the coffee trees.
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