Impact of climate changes in the suitable areas for Coffea arabica L. production in Mozambique: Agroforestry as an alternative management system to strengthen crop sustainability

Crimildo T. Cassamo, David Draper, Maria M. Romeiras, Isabel Marques, Rogério Chiulele, Marisa Rodrigues, Marc Stalmans, Fábio L. Partelli, Ana Ribeiro-Barros, José C. Ramalho

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Abstract

Climate changes (CC) are a main global phenomenon, with a worldwide impact on natural and agricultural ecosystems. The objective of this study was to analyse the potential impact of future CC on the suitability of areas for rainfed coffee growth, both at the Mozambique national scale and in the Gorongosa Mountain, under Agroforestry (AFS) and Full Sun (FS) management systems. The latter study site is part of the Gorongosa National Park (PNG), one of the most biodiverse places and an outstanding case of successful ecosystem restoration, including the rainforest from Gorongosa Mountain. Additionally, coffee cultivation in PNG under AFS is part of a strategy to strengthen the socio-economic sustainability of the local population, and the recovery of biodiversity in a degraded tropical rainforest ecosystem. Future climate assessments were elaborated through bioclimatic and biophysical variables (Elevation), with Coffea arabica L. being modeled under the current conditions and four global climate models (GCMs) using four Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs). Isothermality, annual precipitation, and altitude were the most important variables influencing suitable areas in Mozambique. The analysis revealed that currently suitable areas where C. arabica is grown in Mozambique will be negatively affected under future scenarios (SSP126 to SSP585) in both systems (AFS and FS), although with clear worst impacts for FS. Under AFS, suitable areas will be reduced between about half and two-thirds by 2041–2060, and up to 91% by 2081–2100 (depending on scenarios) at the whole country level. Additionally, in Gorongosa Mountain, almost all scenarios point to a 30% reduction of the suitable area by 2041–2060, reaching 50% by 2081–2100, both in SSP126 and SSP245 scenarios. In sharp contrast, at the whole country level, the FS system is projected to be unsuitable for most of Mozambique, with area losses close to or above two-thirds already in 2021–2040, and greater than 80% by 2061–2080. Under this system, the projections were even more dramatic, pointing to a total absence of adequate areas at Gorongosa Mountain already by 2021–2040. Overall, our study provides clear evidence that the implementation of AFS greatly reduces CC deleterious impacts, being crucial to guarantee the sustainability of the coffee crop in the near future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108341
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Volume346
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Agroforestry systems
  • Climate change
  • Coffea arabica L
  • Gorongosa Mountain
  • Sustainable development

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