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Shade-growing practices lessen the impact of coffee plantations on multiple dimensions of ant diversity

Citation

Ibarra-Isassi, Javier et al. (2020), Shade-growing practices lessen the impact of coffee plantations on multiple dimensions of ant diversity, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.0zpc866wp

Abstract

1. Land use management influence changes in biodiversity beyond the targeted species. Management practices in coffee plantations have shifted from coffee growing below accompanying (shade) trees, to intensified monocultures in which coffee grows fully exposed to the sun. Anthropogenic disturbance causes changes in species composition relative to adjacent natural patches and reduces their biotic heterogeneity. Here, we assessed the impact of coffee plantation management practices on the taxonomical, phylogenetic, and functional composition of ant communities, an ecologically dominant group and crucial biological pest controller in these agroecosystems. We hypothesized that shade-grown coffee plantations would harbor ant communities similar to those of nearby forest patches, but dissimilar to those of intensified monocultures.

2. We surveyed ant diversity in eight shade-grown coffee farms, eight intensive coffee monocultures and eight forest patches. We used a combination of active and passive sampling methods over two field campaigns spanning six months.

3. Our results support our hypothesis for all diversity dimensions. Additionally, ant communities in intensified monocultures were taxonomically and functionally, but not phylogenetically, more homogeneous than those found in forest patches and shade-grown plantations.

4. Synthesis and applications. Our findings support the idea that practices in shade-grown plantations buffer the impoverishment of multiple diversity dimensions after forest conversion. By assessing and integrating multiple biodiversity dimensions into management strategies, farmers and interested parties can minimize future biodiversity and ecosystem service loss.

Usage Notes

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Funding

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Award: RGPIN-2015-06081

NSERC-CREATE in Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability

Universidad del Valle project: “Beneficios Ecológicos de los Cafetales de Sombra en 376 Colombia”, Award: CI 71000

Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (COLCIENCIAS), Award: No.110656933821

Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (COLCIENCIAS), Award: RC 0648-201

Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación (COLCIENCIAS), Award: No.706-2015

NSERC-CREATE in Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability