Based on principles of the conservation and optimization of biodiversity and of equity and sustainability, this book focuses on the ecology of the coffee agroecosystem as a model for a sustainable agricultural ecosystem. It draws on the authors' own research conducted over the last twenty years as well as incorporating the vast literature that has been generated on coffee agroecosystems from around the world.
The book uses an integrated approach that weaves together various lines of research to understand the ecology of a very diverse tropical agroforestry system. Key concepts explored include biodiversity patterns, metapopulation dynamics and ecological networks. These are all set in a socioeconomic and political framework which relates them to the realities of farmers' livelihoods.
The authors provide a novel synthesis that will generate new understanding and can be applied to other examples of sustainable agriculture and food production. This synthesis also explains the ecosystem services provided by the approach, including the economic, fair trade and political aspects surrounding this all-important global commodity.
Table of Contents
1. Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (or a Tale of Two Farms)
2. A Biodiverse Cup of Coffee: Coffee Agroforests as Repositories of Tropical Biodiversity
3. The Coffee Agroecosystem as a High-Quality Matrix
4. Space Matters: Large Scale Spatial Ecology within the Coffee Agroecosystem
5. Who's Eating Whom and How: Trophic and Trait-mediated Cascades in the Coffee Agroecosystem
6. Interactions across Spatial Scales
7. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
8. Coffee, the Agroecological Landscape, and Farmer’s Livelihoods
9. Syndromes of Coffee Production: Embracing Sustainability
Ivette Perfecto is George W. Pack Professor of Ecology, Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, USA.
John Vandermeer is Asa Grey Distinguished University Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Alfred T. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan, USA.
"Through its detailed documentation of ecological interactions between individual organisms and across landscapes, Coffee Agroecology contributes to practical explanations of how agriculture and biodiversity conservation may take place simultaneously." – Barbara Forbes, Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
"Even if you are not particularly interested in coffee this book makes a nice applied ecological study looking at ecological interactions in producing a product that most of us simply take for granted." - Peter Thomas, Bulletin of the British Ecological Society
"This book is an academic tour de force that brings together history, ecology, agriculture, biology, economics, politics and social sciences in a single narrative around coffee production, thereby providing an example for other crop production systems. Its optimistic conclusion is that the ecosystems, biodiversity, agricultural production and famers’ livelihoods can all benefit from appropriate, ‘thought-intensive’, agroecological syndromes of production." – Paul Harding, Agriculture for Development