Coffee growing: More biodiversity, better harvest

Bees, birds and bats make a huge contribution to the high yields produced by coffee farmers around Mount Kilimanjaro – an example of how biodiversity can pay off. This effect has been described as result of a study now published in the „Proceedings of the Royal Society B“. It has been conducted by tropical ecologists of the University Wrzburg Biocenter, jointly with colleagues from the LOEWE Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F, Frankfurt/Main) and the Institute for experimental Ecology of the University of Ulm.A large amount of coffee is grown on Kilimanjaro, the East African massif almost 6000 meters high. The most traditional form of cultivation can be found in the gardens of the Chagga people. Hhere the sun-shy coffee trees and many other crop plants thrive in the shade of banana trees and other tall trees. However, the largest part of the coffee is grown on plantations. Usually, the plantations still feature a large number of shade trees. But these are progressively being chopped down because of the increasing replacement of “conventional coffee varieties, which rely on shade, by varieties that tolerate lots of sun and are more resistant to fungi,” explains Professor Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, a tropical ecologist at the University of Wrzburg’s Biocenter. This crop intensification is expected to result in higher yields. The plantation harvests might however stagnate: If there are only few shade trees left, the habitat may become unsuitable for the animal species that pollinate the coffee, eat pests, and thereby help to improve the yield.Teamwork on the slopes of Mount KilimanjaroSteffan-Dewenter and his doctoral student Alice Classen therefore wanted to understand how bees, birds, bats and other animals contribute to pollination and to biological pest control in the coffee fields. …

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(Chocolate Glazed) Coffee Body Scrub: Dunkin’ Donuts Mug Up!

I hope you’ve been having fun with the new theme each month for the Dunkin’ Donuts Mug Up contest! I’ve had fun sharing them with you and creating my own photos Don’t forget that there are awesome prizes up for grabs and you can enter every single day!It’s a new month (already?!) and time for a new theme! This February we want to see your Mug Love! In honor of Valentine’s Day, show us the love! We already know you love coffee… do you have a mug you love to use? Or does it have something you love on it? II grabbed one of my favorite mugs, “Love me, I’m Norwegian,” and snapped a photo in front of my favorite canvas of our kids… …

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Dunkin’ Donuts Mug Up Contest: October

Dunkin’ Donuts Mug Up Contest: October Emily Dickey posted this in GiveawaysCOFFFFFFEEEEEEEE. You guys know I love coffee. I didn’t start drinking it till I was in grad school and now I wonder how in the world I lasted so long without it. It starts my morning every single day. So I’m excited about this new contest with Dunkin’ Donuts to share with you guys!Dunkin’ Donuts Mug Up Contest Every month through next year you can enter to win awesome prizes simply by uploading a photo of you and your coffee related to the monthly theme! Fun, right?! It’s like those photo-a-day challenges with a #DunkinMugUp themed photo… you can enter every single day! Prizes?! Yes! Every month there will be THREE winners that…

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CONTENT REMOVED

Have you ever felt jittery and stressed, all because you drink too much caffeine?Ever noticed how many calories are in coffee? Maybe you’ve tried to cut down but it’s too hard.Caffeine is one of the most researched substances in the world. It has benefits, and it can be harmful.It’s all about moderation, but the more we consume the more our body builds a tolerance. If we’re not careful we can overload our adrenal glands and become stuck in a cycle of fatigue.Here are 6 steps to help you reset your system.1. Substitute With Green TeaStart substituting one of your daily coffees with a cup of green tea.Continue substituting little by little.If you drink 4 coffees a day, begin by drinking 3 coffees and one …

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More than 28 cups of coffee a week may endanger health in under 55s

Aug. 15, 2013 — Nearly 400 million cups of coffee are consumed every day in America. Drinking large amounts of coffee may be bad for under-55s, according to a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. A study of more than 40,000 individuals found a statistically significant 21% increased mortality in those drinking more than 28 cups of coffee a week and death from all causes, with a greater than 50% increased mortality risk in both men and women younger than 55 years of age. Investigators warn that younger people in particular may need to avoid heavy coffee consumption. No adverse effects were found in heavy coffee drinkers aged over 55.Drinking coffee has become a normal daily routine for large numbers of people worldwide. According to the latest National Coffee Drinking Study from the National Coffee Association, more than 60% of American adults drink coffee every day, consuming on average just over three cups a day.Coffee has long been suspected to contribute to a variety of chronic health conditions, although earlier studies on coffee consumption in relation to deaths from all causes and deaths from coronary heart disease are limited, and the results are often controversial.A multicenter research team investigated the effect of coffee consumption on death from all causes and deaths from cardiovascular disease in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study (ACLS) cohort, with an average follow-up period of 16 years and a relatively large sample size of over 40,000 men and women.Between 1979 and 1998, nearly 45,000 individuals aged between 20 and 87 years old participated and returned a medical history questionnaire assessing lifestyle habits (including coffee consumption) and personal and family medical history. The investigators examined a total of 43,727 participants (33,900 men and 9,827 women) in their final analysis.During the 17-year median follow-up period there were 2,512 deaths (men: 87.5%; women: 12.5%), 32% of these caused by cardiovascular disease. Those who consumed higher amounts of coffee (both men and women) were more likely to smoke and had lower levels of cardiorespiratory fitness.All participants were followed from the baseline examination to date of death or until December 31, 2003. Deaths from all causes and deaths from cardiovascular disease were identified through the National Death Index or by accessing death certificates.Younger men had a trend towards higher mortality even at lower consumption, but this became significant at about 28 cups per week where there was a 56% increase in mortality from all causes. …

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Bees and other pollinating insects are just one factor in food production

June 5, 2013 — No food for the human race without bees? It is not quite as straightforward as that. A case study by ecologists from ETH Zurich in a coffee-growing area in India reveals that pollinating insects are just one production factor among many. Farmers have several possibilities to increase their harvest.All over the world, bees are dying and insect diversity is dwindling. Only recently, both the media and scientists expressed fears that insect pollination is in decline, which jeopardises food security. The (lack of) pollination has thus become a sound argument for the protection of species and natural habitats, and organic farming.ETH-Zurich researchers from the group headed by Jaboury Ghazoul, professor of ecosystem management, set about investigating this argument by studying the influence of pollinator insects on coffee harvests in an agroforestry system at coffee plantations in the province of Kodagu in southern India. They also included soil and forest management, environmental factors such as water and soil fertility, and tree cover for the cultures in their study.The research group thus obtained a different picture of the role of pollinators to the popular perception of this cultivation system of “no bees, no harvest.” According to their findings, pollinator bees are merely one production factor among many and to some extent coffee farmers can increase the productivity of their plantations independently of the insects. The results of the study have just been published in the journal PNAS.Important but not the only factor”Pollinators are important for coffee farmers,” stresses Ghazoul; “as far as effective coffee growing and increasing harvests are concerned, however, they are much less important than irrigation or liming, for instance.” This encapsulates one of the central findings from coffee farming in the Kodagu province.Coffee is grown in a traditional agroforestry system in the region. As coffee plants must not be grown in direct sunlight, they are planted in the forest’s undergrowth or the shade of large, isolated trees. The coffee plants all bloom at the same time after heavy rains between February and March and three species of bee pollinate the flowers: the giant honeybee Apis dorsata, Apis cerana and the solitary wild bee Tetragonula iridipennis. …

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