Climate Change-Based Modeling of Potential Land Use Arrangements for Coffee (Coffea arabica) and Forest in Costa Rica

Alberto Coto-Fonseca, Carlos Rojas, Sergio Molina-Murillo


Besides the need to reduce its own emissions, the challenge of the agricultural sector worldwide is also to adapt to a changing and more variable climate. Coffee is an important crop in Costa Rica based on cultivated area and on the number of families connected to this activity that has a long historical tradition. In this context, the potential distribution shifts of coffee production based on climate change scenarios has been identified and targeted in this study. Bioclimatic variables along with elevation were used to evaluate changes in suitable areas for coffee production under the framework of four climate change scenarios for the year 2070. Results suggest that highlands have a high probability of being suitable for coffee under all four scenarios and unsuitability seems to be associated with lowlands. All four climate change scenarios showed high overlap between the projected suitable areas for coffee and current forested areas. This investigation suggests that the long term management of coffee production in Costa Rica should carefully consider climate change given its potential conflict with other land uses and associated socioeconomic implications.

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