The Effects of Shade Tree Types on Light Variation and Robusta Coffee Production in Vietnam


Vietnam is well-known as the second largest global coffee producer and the largest worldwide exporter of Robusta coffee. However, the Robusta coffee sector in Vietnam is facing many problems, including low quality, high external inputs and water shortages as a result of shade tree eradication. A six-month research project was conducted that focused on effects of shaded tree types on variation of light intensity and aspects of Robusta production. Three shade tree species at different planting densities and shade provision were investigated, including 46 trees of Durian ha–1 (14% shade), 35 trees of Sennaha–1 (17% shade), and 60 trees of Leucaena ha–1 (34% shade), and unshaded site (Open) was used as a control. The study found that light intensity declined 50% with Durian, 58% with Senna and 60% with Leucaena compared with the Open site (2096 μmol?m–2?s–1). Within the coffee canopy, a significant decline in light intensity was observed from the top of the canopy to the bottom. The percentage of light at the middle (90 cm above ground) and bottom (30cm) levels of the coffee canopy was declined by 81% and 88% respectively for the Open site, and 86% and 92% for the Leucaena site. There were no differences in the number of flowers branch–1 tree–1 and fruit set between shaded and unshaded coffee sites. However, a significant difference in first fruit drop was observed.

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Long, N. , Ngoc, N. , Dung, N. , Kristiansen, P. , Yunusa, I. and Fyfe, C. (2015) The Effects of Shade Tree Types on Light Variation and Robusta Coffee Production in Vietnam. Engineering, 7, 742-753. doi: 10.4236/eng.2015.711065.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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