Low cost and easy to implement physical and hydrological soil assessment of shade-grown coffee in Santa Rosa, Guatemala

Unlocking coffee agroecosystems secrets


This book explores the impact of coffee agroecosystems on soil hydrological functions, focusing on the potential benefits and challenges associated with land-use change. Utilizing low-cost methodologies like the Steady Simplified Beerkan Infiltration (SSBI) method and visual soil assessment (VSA), the study examines various land-use types in Guatemala. Key findings highlight the positive influence of shade trees on soil hydrological properties and the microclimatic benefits of leaf litter in seven-year-old shade-grown coffee. The book concludes with a recommendation for regular monitoring to understand the temporal variability in tropical land-use systems.


Key takeaways


  1. Shade trees boost hydrological properties: Thirty-year-old shade-grown coffee (CN) exhibits the highest saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) values, indicating that shade trees positively impact soil hydrological properties in coffee agroecosystems.
  2. Microclimatic benefits of leaf litter: Seven-year-old shade-grown coffee (CP) demonstrates higher soil volumetric water content (VWC) and a significant positive effect of leaf litter on soil temperature, highlighting the positive impact of leaf litter on microclimatic conditions and soil moisture.
  3. Effective low-cost methodologies: The Steady Simplified Beerkan Infiltration (SSBI) method, coupled with visual soil assessment (VSA), proves to be a cost-effective and easily implementable approach for assessing soil hydraulic and physical characteristics in various land-use types.

Author: Gerlach, Marcelo Daniel, Sergio Esteban Lozano-Baez, Mirko Castellini, Nery Guzman, Wilmer Andrés Gomez, and Bayron Medina.

Publisher: Land

Language: English

Year: 2023

Ecosystem(s): Agricultural Land

Location(s): Guatemala

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