(ORDO NEWS) — A new study reveals the secret to the best coffee – it’s the work of birds and bees!
Researchers at the Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education in Costa Rica found that coffee beans get larger and more ripe when birds and bees come together to pollinate and protect the plants.
According to the study, some of these winged helpers travel thousands of miles, and without them, coffee farmers would face a whopping 25% drop in yields.
“Until now, researchers have looked at the benefits of nature separately and then just added them up,” said Alejandra Martínez-Salinas, who led the study.
“But nature is an interacting system full of important synergies and trade-offs. We show the ecological and economic importance of these interactions in one of the first experiments at realistic scales on real farms.”
What exactly did the scientists notice?
In their study, the team conducted experiments on 30 coffee farms to evaluate the contribution of bee pollination and bird control of pests.
The scientists tested four different scenarios: only bird activity, only bee activity, no bird or bee activity at all, and a natural environment where birds and bees worked together.
During each scenario, the team checked the number of ripe berries, their weight and uniformity. It turned out that all three of these factors “thrived” when birds and bees worked together.
And in a scenario where there was no activity of birds or bees at all, the average yield decreased by almost 25%.
The authors of the study, as well as other experts, remind that in the future, coffee supplies may be greatly reduced due to global warming. Therefore, it is very important to maintain the yield of varieties that can adapt to future climate changes.
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