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Shade-coffee farms support native bees that maintain genetic diversity in tropical forests
Date:7/26/2010

bridging the two habitat types---and that the shade-farm trees serve as a repository of local M. affinis genetic diversity, according to the authors.

In addition, Jha and Dick found that native bees carried pollen twice as far in a shade-coffee habitat than they did in the forest. They documented shade-farm pollination trips of nearly a mile, which are among the longest precisely recorded pollination trips by native tropical bees.

Jha and Dick said their results likely apply to other buzz-pollinated plants, which represent about 8 percent of the world's flowering plant species, as well as to other native plants whose limited pollen and nectar rewards don't attract honeybees.

The enhanced genetic diversity of the shade-farm trees could provide a reservoir for future forest regeneration, as the coffee farms typically fall out of production in less than a century. Given that potential, along with the shade farm's previously identified roles in connecting habitat patches and sheltering native wildlife, it is important to encourage this traditional style of agriculture, Jha and Dick said.


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Contact: Jim Erickson
ricksn@umich.edu
734-647-1842
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3

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