Benefits for multiple ecosystem services in Peruvian coffee agroforestry systems without reducing yield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Crop production often comes at the expense of losses in ecosystem services and biodiversity; however, this might not always be the case. Here we test the effects of shade gradients and agricultural inputs on trade-offs or synergies between coffee yield and ecosystem services and biodiversity data for smallholder coffee plantations of Arabica coffee in Peru. We collected data using surveys (n = 162 farmers) and field sampling (n = 62 farms) and modelled the relationship between coffee yield, butterfly species richness and carbon storage, accounting for soil fertility and yield losses to pests and diseases. We found that both carbon and forest butterfly species richness were higher in plantations with more shade, and with no reduction in coffee yields with increasing shade. There were no significant correlations between coffee yield, forest butterfly species richness and carbon storage. Use of agricultural inputs, especially fertilizers, was highest in sites with low coffee yield, but was not related with either forest butterfly species richness or carbon. The lack of trade-offs between yield, forest butterfly species richness and carbon, and their relationships with shade and agricultural inputs suggest that it is possible to manage coffee agroforests to simultaneously provide multiple ecosystem services without reducing coffee yields.


  • Rosalien E. Jezeer
  • Maria J. Santos
  • Pita A. Verweij
  • René G.A. Boot
  • Yann Clough
External organisations
  • Utrecht University
  • University of Zurich
  • Tropenbos International
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use


  • Arabica coffee, Butterfly species richness, Carbon storage, Ecosystem services, Shade and input management, Trade-offs
Original languageEnglish
Article number101033
JournalEcosystem Services
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch