Coffee crop weeds: refuge and food source for pests’ natural enemies

Keywords: Coffee agroecosystem, biological control by conservation, shaded coffee, sun coffee, natural control, activity hours


Weeds in coffee crops have diverse ecosystem services, such as sheltering and feeding natural enemies of pest insects. This study aimed to identify the potential of coffee weeds as food and refuge for natural enemies in shaded and sun coffee crops. Weeds were sampled in a 100 m transect installed in each type of coffee crop. Malaise traps and sweep-nets were both used to capture insects every 15 days for five months. After identifying the dominant weeds, observations and a direct recollection of insects were carried out at three different hours during three days. Faunistic analyses were performed, as well as the Bray and Curtis similarity analysis and the Student's t test. Emilia sonchifolia, Acmella oppositifolia, Bidens pilosa were predominant in the free exposure sun plantation coffee crops and Commelina diffusa, Salvia palifolia, Stachytarpheta cayennensis in under shade coffee crops. High insect activity was found between 11:30 am-12:00 pm. In these weeds, we found about 15 families, the most important were Formicidae, Braconidae, and Coccinellidae. We concluded that the shaded coffee crops exhibited a natural enemy community similar to that of the sun. Through this exploratory study, we verified that weeds harbor a diversity of natural enemies important to the coffee agroecosystems.



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How to Cite
Arévalo, L., Vasco R., G., Albino-Bohórquez, A., Morales, J., & Bacca, T. (2021). Coffee crop weeds: refuge and food source for pests’ natural enemies. Revista De Ciencias Agrícolas, 38(2), 36-49.