Date of Award
Master of Science in Forestry (MS)
College, School or Department Name
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Blair D Orr
El Balsamar is a community that relies upon coffee trees intercropped with the balsamo tree (Myroxylon balsamum L. Harms) for a substantial portion of household income. The balsamo tree is valued for its resin which is used as medicine in the community and sold commercially. Farmers believe that the shade from the balsamo tree decreases coffee yield compared to the shade from non balsamo species. Thirty coffee farms were studied, each set up as a paired plot. When cover type was balsamo, coffee yield was more likely to decrease. Plots with higher basal area were more likely to be balsamo cover type. As basal area increased, coffee yield decreased. Although coffee yield is lower under balsamo cover type, farmers still continue to plant and manage coffee under this cover type. Farmers accept a lower coffee yield because balsamo resin provides an important income source. Farmers rely on the community cooperative to provide them work to support their households. The cooperative relies on the farmers to provide the labor needed to harvest coffee and extract balsamo resin.
Anderson, Evan A., "The impact of balsamo (Myroxylon balsamum L. Harms) on coffee yield and household income in El Balsamar, El Salvador", Master's Thesis, Michigan Technological University, 2012.