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Concept: Coffea arabica


Precise modelling of the influence of climate change on Arabica coffee is limited; there are no data available for indigenous populations of this species. In this study we model the present and future predicted distribution of indigenous Arabica, and identify priorities in order to facilitate appropriate decision making for conservation, monitoring and future research. Using distribution data we perform bioclimatic modelling and examine future distribution with the HadCM3 climate model for three emission scenarios (A1B, A2A, B2A) over three time intervals (2020, 2050, 2080). The models show a profoundly negative influence on indigenous Arabica. In a locality analysis the most favourable outcome is a c. 65% reduction in the number of pre-existing bioclimatically suitable localities, and at worst an almost 100% reduction, by 2080. In an area analysis the most favourable outcome is a 38% reduction in suitable bioclimatic space, and the least favourable a c. 90% reduction, by 2080. Based on known occurrences and ecological tolerances of Arabica, bioclimatic unsuitability would place populations in peril, leading to severe stress and a high risk of extinction. This study establishes a fundamental baseline for assessing the consequences of climate change on wild populations of Arabica coffee. Specifically, it: (1) identifies and categorizes localities and areas that are predicted to be under threat from climate change now and in the short- to medium-term (2020-2050), representing assessment priorities for ex situ conservation; (2) identifies ‘core localities’ that could have the potential to withstand climate change until at least 2080, and therefore serve as long-term in situ storehouses for coffee genetic resources; (3) provides the location and characterization of target locations (populations) for on-the-ground monitoring of climate change influence. Arabica coffee is confimed as a climate sensitivite species, supporting data and inference that existing plantations will be neagtively impacted by climate change.

Concepts: Time, Conservation biology, Coffee, Endangered species, Caffeine, In-situ conservation, Coffea arabica, Coffea


Cultivation of Coffea arabica is highly sensitive to and has been shown to be negatively impacted by progressive climatic changes. Previous research contributed little to support forward-looking adaptation. Agro-ecological zoning is a common tool to identify homologous environments and prioritize research. We demonstrate here a pragmatic approach to describe spatial changes in agro-climatic zones suitable for coffee under current and future climates. We defined agro-ecological zones suitable to produce arabica coffee by clustering geo-referenced coffee occurrence locations based on bio-climatic variables. We used random forest classification of climate data layers to model the spatial distribution of these agro-ecological zones. We used these zones to identify spatially explicit impact scenarios and to choose locations for the long-term evaluation of adaptation measures as climate changes. We found that in zones currently classified as hot and dry, climate change will impact arabica more than those that are better suited to it. Research in these zones should therefore focus on expanding arabica’s environmental limits. Zones that currently have climates better suited for arabica will migrate upwards by about 500m in elevation. In these zones the up-slope migration will be gradual, but will likely have negative ecosystem impacts. Additionally, we identified locations that with high probability will not change their climatic characteristics and are suitable to evaluate C. arabica germplasm in the face of climate change. These locations should be used to investigate long term adaptation strategies to production systems.

Concepts: Climate, Weather, Coffee, Ecosystem, Climate change, Caffeine, Coffea arabica, Coffea


Regional studies have shown that climate change will affect climatic suitability for Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) within current regions of production. Increases in temperature and changes in precipitation patterns will decrease yield, reduce quality and increase pest and disease pressure. This is the first global study on the impact of climate change on suitability to grow Arabica coffee. We modeled the global distribution of Arabica coffee under changes in climatic suitability by 2050s as projected by 21 global circulation models. The results suggest decreased areas suitable for Arabica coffee in Mesoamerica at lower altitudes. In South America close to the equator higher elevations could benefit, but higher latitudes lose suitability. Coffee regions in Ethiopia and Kenya are projected to become more suitable but those in India and Vietnam to become less suitable. Globally, we predict decreases in climatic suitability at lower altitudes and high latitudes, which may shift production among the major regions that produce Arabica coffee.

Concepts: Earth, Climate, Coffee, Caffeine, Coffea arabica, Coffea, Latitude, Rubiaceae


Coffee is a major tropical commodity crop that can provide supplementary habitat for native wildlife. In Asia, coffee production is an increasingly important driver of landscape transformation and shifts between different coffee species is a major dimension of agroforestry trends. Yet few studies have compared the ecological impacts of conversion between different coffee species. We evaluated whether or not the two species of coffee grown globally-Coffea arabica and C. canephora (denoted “robusta”)-had equivalent avian conservation value in the Western Ghats, India, where robusta production has become increasingly dominant. We found that habitat specialist and functional guild diversity was higher in arabica, and that arabica was more profitable. However, robusta farms generally supported the same or slightly higher abundances of habitat specialists and functional guilds, largely due to dense canopy and landscape-level forest cover. Farming practices, chiefly pesticide use, may affect the suitability of coffee agroforests as habitat for avian specialists, and at present, robusta farmers tended to use less pesticide. Given future projections for arabica to robusta conversion in tropical Asia, our study indicates that certification efforts should prioritize maintaining native canopy shade trees and forest cover to ensure that coffee landscapes can continue providing biodiversity benefits.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Conservation biology, Agriculture, Coffee, India, Western Ghats, Coffea arabica, Cash crop


The roasting of coffee beans generates stable radicals within melanoidins produced by non-enzymatic browning. Roasting coffee beans has further been suggested to increase the antioxidant (AO) capacity of coffee brews. Herein, we have characterized the radical content and AO capacity of brews prepared from Coffea arabica beans sourced directly from an industrial roasting plant. In-tact beans exhibited electron paramagnetic resonance signals arising from Fe3+, Mn2+ and at least three distinct stable radicals as a function of roasting time, whose intensity changed upon grinding and ageing. In coffee brews, the roasting-induced radicals were harboured within the high molecular weight (> 3 kD) melanoidin-containing fraction at a concentration of 15 nM and was associated with aromatic groups within the melanoidins. The low molecular weight (< 3 kD) fraction exhibited the highest AO capacity using DPPH as an oxidant. The AO activity was not mediated by the stable radicals or by metal complexes within the brew. While other non-AO functions of the roasting-induced radical and metal complexes may be possible in vivo, we confirm that the in vitro antiradical activity of brewed coffee is dominated by low molecular weight phenolic compounds.

Concepts: Coffee, Caffeine, Coffea canephora, Coffea arabica, Coffea, Coffee bean, Coffee roasting, Rubiaceae


To clarify the relationship between the volatile compounds present in roasted coffee beans and psychological stress, we investigated the stress-reducing potential of coffee volatiles in mice using a variety of behavioral pharmacology methods. In the elevated plus-maze test, exposure to coffee volatiles increased the time spent in and the number of entries into the open arms without increasing spontaneous locomotor activity. Pentobarbital-induced sleep time was prolonged by volatile exposure. No significant effects were detected in the open-field or forced-swim tests. These results suggest that coffee volatiles lower the arousal level and exert anti-anxiety-like, stress-reducing effects in mice.

Concepts: Sleep, Coffee, Caffeine, Volatile, Coffea arabica, Coffea, Coffee bean, Coffee roasting


Coffea arabica beans were roasted in an oven at 200 °C for increasing lengths of time under vacuum (i.e. 0.15 kPa). The samples were then analysed for colour, weight loss, acrylamide concentration and sensory properties. Data were compared with those obtained from coffee roasted at atmospheric pressure (i.e. conventional roasting), as well as at atmospheric pressure for 10 min followed by vacuum treatment (0.15 kPa; i.e. conventional-vacuum roasting). To compare the different treatments, weight loss, colour and acrylamide changes were expressed as a function of the thermal effect received by the coffee beans during the different roasting processes. Vacuum-processed coffee with medium roast degree had approximately 50% less acrylamide than its conventionally roasted counterpart. It was inferred that the low pressure generated inside the oven during the vacuum process exerted a stripping effect preventing acrylamide from being accumulated. Vacuum-processed coffee showed similar colour and sensory properties to conventionally roasted coffee.

Concepts: Coffee, Caffeine, Pressure, Atmospheric pressure, Coffea arabica, Coffea, Roasting, Rubiaceae


The microwave-assisted extraction (MAE) of 13 different green coffee beans (Coffea arabica L.) was compared to Soxhlet extraction for oil obtention. The full factorial design applied to the microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), related to time and temperature parameters, allowed to develop a powerful fast and smooth methodology (10 min at 45°C) compared to a 4h Soxhlet extraction. The quantification of cafestol and kahweol diterpenes present in the coffee oil was monitored by HPLC/UV and showed satisfactory linearity (R(2)=0.9979), precision (CV 3.7%), recovery (<93%), limit of detection (0.0130 mg/mL), and limit of quantification (0.0406 mg/mL). The space-time yield calculated on the diterpenes content for sample AT1 (Arabica green coffee) showed a six times higher value compared to the traditional Soxhlet method.

Concepts: Time, Coffee, Analytical chemistry, Caffeine, Coffea arabica, Coffea, Rubiaceae, Cafestol


Roasted coffee is subject to commercial frauds because the high-quality Coffea arabica species, described as “100% Arabica” or “Highland coffee”, is often mixed with the less expensive Coffea canephora var. Robusta. The quantification of 16-O-methylcafestol (16-OMC) is useful to monitor the authenticity of the products as well as the Robusta content in blends. The German standard method DIN 10779 is used in the determination of 16-OMC in roasted coffee beans to detect C. canephora in blends, but it is laborious and time consuming. Here, we introduce a new method that provides a quantitative determination of esterified 16-OMC directly in coffee extracts by means of high-resolution 1H-NMR spectroscopy. LoD and LoQ were 5 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg, respectively, which are adequate to detect the presence of Robusta at percentages lower than 0.9%. The proposed method is much faster, more sensitive, and much more reproducible than the DIN standard method.

Concepts: Coffee, Caffeine, Coffea canephora, Coffea arabica, Coffea, Coffee bean, Rubiaceae


Coffee yields are adversely affected by plant-parasitic nematodes and the pathogens are largely under-reported because a simple and reliable identification method is not available. We describe a PCR-based approach to rapidly detect and quantify the major Pratylenchus and Meloidogyne nematode species that are capable of parasitising coffee. The procedure was applied to soil samples obtained from a number of coffee farms in Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia to assess the prevalence of these species associated both with coffee (Coffea arabica and C. canephora) and its intercropped species Musa acuminata (banana) and Piper nigrum (black pepper). Pratylenchus coffeae and P. brachyurus were associated with coffee in all three countries, but there were distinct profiles of Meloidogyne species. Meloidogyne incognita, M. exigua and M. paranaensis were identified in samples from Brazil and M. incognita and M. hapla were detected around the roots of coffee in Vietnam. No Meloidogyne species were detected in samples from Indonesia. There was a high abundance of Meloidogyne in soil samples in which Pratylenchus were low or not detected, suggesting that the success of one genus may deter another. Meloidogyne species in Vietnam and Pratylenchus species in Indonesia were more numerous around intercropped plants than in association with coffee. The data suggest a wide-spread but differential nematode problem associated with coffee production across the regions studied. The issue is compounded by the current choice of intercrops that support large nematode populations. Wider application of the approach would elucidate the true global scale of the nematode problem and the cost to coffee production.

Concepts: Nematode, Coffee, Nematodes, Caffeine, Vietnam, Coffea arabica, Coffea, Black pepper