Crop sustainability can be threatened by new environmental challenges regarding predicted climate changes and global warming. Therefore, the study of real biological impacts of future environmental conditions (e.g., increased air [CO2], supra-optimal temperature and water scarcity) on crop plants, as well as the re-evaluation of management procedures and strategies, must be undertaken in order to improve crop adaptation and promote mitigation of negative environmental impacts, thus affording crop resilience. Coffee is a tropical crop that is grown in more than 80 countries, making it one of the world’s most traded agricultural products, while involving millions of people worldwide in the whole chain of value. It has been argued that this crop will be highly affected by climate changes, resulting in decreases in both suitable areas for cultivation and productivity, as well as impaired beverage quality in the near future. Here, we report recent findings regarding coffee species exposure to combined supra-optimal air temperatures and enhanced air [CO2], and impacts of drought stress on the crop. Ultimately, we discuss key strategies to improve coffee performance in the context of new environmental scenarios. The recent findings clearly show that high [CO2] has a positive impact on coffee plants, increasing their tolerance to high temperatures. This has been related to a better plant vigor, to the triggering of protective mechanisms, and to a higher functional status of the photosynthetic machinery. Even so, coffee plant is expected to suffer from water scarcity in a changing world. Therefore, discussion is focused on some important management strategies (e.g., shade systems, crop management and soil covering and terracing), which can be implemented to improve coffee performance and sustain coffee production in a continually changing environment.
Part of the book: Climate Resilient Agriculture