Coffee agroecosystems have become iconic in the study of how agriculture can contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and how biodiversity can deliver ecosystem services to agriculture. However, coffee farms are also excellent model systems for ecological research. Throughout the tropics coffee farms are cultivated using varying numbers and diversity of shade trees, representing a gradient of diversity and complexity, ranging from forest-like “shade coffee” to intensified shadeless “sun coffee.” Here we synthesize ecological research in the coffee agroecosystem focusing on four topics that have received considerable recent attention: () trophic interactions (especially vertebrates and ants as predators), () trait-mediated indirect interactions, () competition and community assembly (mainly birds and ants), and () spatial constraints on interactions.


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