Not so robust: robusta coffee production is highly sensitive to temperature

Kath, Jarrod ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2391-1264 and Byrareddy, Vivekananda M. and Craparo, Alessandro and Nguyen-Huy, Thong ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2201-6666 and Mushtaq, Shahbaz and Cao, Loc and Bossolasco, Laurent (2020) Not so robust: robusta coffee production is highly sensitive to temperature. Global Change Biology, 26 (6). pp. 3677-3688. ISSN 1354-1013

[img]
Preview
Text (Accepted Version)
gcb.15097.pdf

Download (20MB) | Preview

Abstract

Coffea canephora (robusta coffee) is the most heat‐tolerant and ‘robust’ coffee species and therefore considered more resistant to climate change than other types of coffee production. However, the optimum production range of robusta has never been quantified, with current estimates of its optimal mean annual temperature range (22–30°C) based solely on the climatic conditions of its native range in the Congo basin, Central Africa. Using 10 years of yield observations from 798 farms across South East Asia coupled with high‐resolution precipitation and temperature data, we used hierarchical Bayesian modeling to quantify robusta's optimal temperature range for production. Our climate‐based models explained yield variation well across the study area with a cross‐validated mean R2 = .51. We demonstrate that robusta has an optimal temperature below 20.5°C (or a mean minimum/maximum of ≤16.2/24.1°C), which is markedly lower, by 1.5–9°C than current estimates. In the middle of robusta's currently assumed optimal range (mean annual temperatures over 25.1°C), coffee yields are 50% lower compared to the optimal mean of ≤20.5°C found here. During the growing season, every 1°C increase in mean minimum/maximum temperatures above 16.2/24.1°C corresponded to yield declines of ~14% or 350–460 kg/ha (95% credible interval). Our results suggest that robusta coffee is far more sensitive to temperature than previously thought. Current assessments, based on robusta having an optimal temperature range over 22°C, are likely overestimating its suitable production range and its ability to contribute to coffee production as temperatures increase under climate change. Robusta supplies 40% of the world's coffee, but its production potential could decline considerably as temperatures increase under climate change, jeopardizing a multi‐billion dollar coffee industry and the livelihoods of millions of farmers.


Statistics for USQ ePrint 38603
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2020 07:58
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2021 22:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate interactions, coffee supply, coffee yield, horticulture, minimum temperature, night temperature, tropical agriculture
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070302 Agronomy
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300210 Sustainable agricultural development
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300207 Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300403 Agronomy
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15097
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/38603

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only