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Title Contrasting adaptation to drought stress in wild populations of Coffea arabica in Ethiopia

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Short title Adaptation to drought stress in wild Coffea arabica

Author(s) Beining, A.(1); Kufa, T.(1); Goldbach, H.(1); Fetene, M.(2); Burkhardt, J.(1)

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Institution(s) (1) University of Bonn, INRES-PE, Bonn, Germany; (3) Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Keywords Ecophysiology; water relations; drought, environment; wild coffee

Abstract The objective of this study was to analyse strategies of drought tolerance in 4 distant wild populations of Coffea arabica along a climatic gradient at its place of origin and center of diversity, in Ethiopia. Gas exchange and carbon isotope discrimination measurements were carried out, both indicating water use efficiency, but at different time scales.
The sites were located between 1200 and 1800 m a.s.l. and precipitation between the four sites varied between 940 and 1800 mm during the year of investigations, according to the longtime measurements. Assimilation during the dry season was highest at the driest site. Instantaneous water use efficiencies were higher during the dry seasons at all locations. The integrated water use efficiency among the different sites determined by carbon isotope discrimination was negatively correlated with annual precipitation.
The differences indicated by this study may be useful in breeding for drought tolerance and more efficient water use, indicating the importance of keeping wild coffee populations in their native environment.

Congress Topic Coffee project

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Ref. No. 503