Professors John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto recently published a new book, “Coffee Agroecology: A New Approach to Understanding Agricultural Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainable Development.”
“Agroecology has emerged as a very powerful science, practice and movement, and as an alternative to industrialized conventional agriculture,” said Perfecto. “In this book, we emphasize the scientific basis of agroecology using the coffee agroecosystem as a model system. The book is based on 20 years of research on coffee farms in Mexico and Central America.”
Published in January 2015 by Routledge, the publisher website provides the following book description:
Based on principles of the conservation and optimization of biodiversity and of equity and sustainability, this book focuses on the ecology of the coffee agroecosystem as a model for a sustainable agricultural ecosystem. It draws on the authors' own research conducted over the last 20 years as well as incorporating the vast literature that has been generated on coffee agroecosystems from around the world.
The book uses an integrated approach that weaves together various lines of research to understand the ecology of a very diverse tropical agroforestry system. Key concepts explored include biodiversity patterns, metapopulation dynamics and ecological networks. These are all set in a socioeconomic and political framework which relates them to the realities of farmers' livelihoods.
The authors provide a novel synthesis that will generate new understanding and can be applied to other examples of sustainable agriculture and food production. This synthesis also explains the ecosystem services provided by the approach, including the economic, fair trade and political aspects surrounding this all-important global commodity.
The book is available in hardcover and paperback and the publisher offers a complimentary e-copy of the book to professors for consideration for course adoption.
Vandermeer is the Asa Gray Distinguished University Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. In addition to EEB, he is affiliated with the Center for the Study of Complex Systems, Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics, School of Natural Resources and Environment, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and American Studies. Perfecto is the George W. Pack Professor of Ecology, Natural Resources and Environment.