Shade-grown coffee in Colombia benefits soil hydraulic conductivity

Unveiling the impact of land use on soil hydrology in tropical environments


This study in La Jagua de Ibirico, Colombia, compares soil hydraulic characteristics in shade-grown coffee, a 15-year-old regenerated forest, pasture, and reference forest. Findings indicate similarities in saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) between coffee and the reference forest, showcasing agroforestry’s positive impact on soil hydrological functions. Moreover, 15 years of forest regeneration after land abandonment demonstrate improvements in soil hydraulic attributes, highlighting the potential for positive ecological outcomes.


Key takeaways


  1. Agroforestry boosts hydrological function: Shade-grown coffee exhibits comparable saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) values to the reference forest, showcasing the positive impact of trees on soil hydrological functioning in agroforestry systems.
  2. Forest regeneration improves soil attributes: After 15 years of regeneration, the formerly abandoned Sub-Andean Forest shows enhanced soil hydraulic attributes, emphasizing the positive ecological effects of forest regrowth on soil health.
  3. Water repellency in reference forest: Soil water repellency is observed in the reference forest, shedding light on additional soil characteristics that contribute to the complexity of soil hydrology in tropical environments.

Author: Lozano-Baez, Sergio Esteban, Yamileth Domínguez-Haydar, Simone Di Prima, Miguel Cooper, and Mirko Castellini

Publisher: Sustainability

Language: English

Year: 2021

Ecosystem(s): Agricultural Land

Location(s): Colombia

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