Effect of Dominant Shade Trees on Coffee Production in Manasibu District, West Oromia, Ethiopia
Effect of shade trees species on coffee production in Manasibu district, West Ethiopia was assessed by the current study. It was aimed to (i) identify the most suitable dominant shade tree species for coffee production; (ii) assess the status of coffee production under different dominant coffee shade trees and unshaded areas and (iii) evaluate the relationship of top soil properties with coffee production in coffee based Agroforestry system. In this study, randomized complete block design with three replications was used for data collection. 48 circular samples were taken from areas around four dominant coffee shade tree species at 3, 5 and 7 m from tree trunk and unshaded zone. There was no observed significant difference in coffee production between shaded and unshaded zone of coffee farms. However, among the species, coffee bean yield (3.1Mg ha-1) was observed significantly higher under Croton macrostachyus than the others. There were significant positive correlations between coffee weight and soil acidity (r=0.44135), between coffee weight and electric conductivity (r=0.34302), between coffee weight and soil moisture content (r=0.44738). The influence of top soil plant nutrients on coffee production is not linear. Available Potassium was not supposed to influence coffee yield since highest reading was observed with lowest yield. It can be possible to conclude that coffee based Agroforestry system is the better production system when there is no intensive agronomic managements. Soil acidity status and moisture content have significant effect on coffee production than top soil macro nutrients. If choosing is needed, it appears to be a better option selecting C. macrostachyus than another dominant shade tree species for higher coffee production in shade coffee production system due to its coffee favorable environmental conditions (having normal soil pH and good soil moisture content).
Keywords: Shade trees Croton macrostachyus Soil property Coffee yield Shaded system Manasibu District