CATIE - The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center - Costa Rica
CATIE - The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center
The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) is a regional center dedicated to research and graduate education in agriculture, and the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. The CATIE headquarters are surrounded with hundreds of hectares of diverse agricultural landscapes, including pasture, sugar cane, coffee, primary and secondary forest and areas under reforestation. Among these, two sites have been selected for participation in the Teacomposition project. The "Los Paveles" forest (Salcedo, 1986) site consists of a relic of primary slope and terrace forest and secondary terrace forest. The terrace forest is an edaphic association on inceptisols. It has 60 spp.\ and 205 individuals per ha with a basal area of 45 m2 per ha. The maximum height is 57 m reached by Aspidosperma cruentum. The most important species are: Anacardium excelsum, Brosimum alicastrum, Rollinia microsephala and Simarouba amara. The primary slope forest has shallow unstable soils (entisols) on slopes of up to 110%. Species richness and diversity are like primary terrace forest. The most important species are Brosimum alicastrum, Tapirira brenesii, Nectandra sp and Luehea seemanii. It has 175 individals and 28 m2 of basal area per ha. The secondary forest is about 66 years old. The soils are classified as inceptisol. The dominant species are Spodias radlkoferi, Hasseltia floribunda, Cecropia insignis and Cordina alliodora. The CATIE coffee agroforestry site (Haggar et al., 2011) is an experimental site established in 2000, with a total area of 9.2ha. Four management strategies, ranging from low-input organic to high-input agrochemical, are crossed with several shade strategies including the shade tree species Erythrina poeppigiana, Chloroleucon eurycylum and Terminalia amazonia. The soil type is a mix of ultisol and inceptisol. We selected the low-input organic treatment under Erythrina poeppigiana shade for inclusion in the Teacomposition project. Coffee plants are planted in rows with 2m distance between rows, and 1m distance between plants in the same row. Shade trees are planted at a density of 200 trees/ha, and annually pruned to maintain a 4m height of the stem. 5ton/ha of coffee pulp is applies annually as an organic fertilizer; weeds are controlled mechanically, and coffee diseases are not treated.
General Characteristics and Status