Overall, drought and unfavourable temperatures are the major climatic limitations for coffee production. These limitations are expected to become increasingly important in several coffee growing regions due to the recognized changes in global climate, and also because coffee cultivation has spread towards marginal lands, where water shortage and unfavourable temperatures constitute major constraints to coffee yield. In this review, we examine the impacts of such limitations on the physiology, and consequently on the production of mainly Coffea arabica and C. canephora, which account for about 99 % of the world coffee bean production. The first section deals with climatic factors and the coffee plant’s requirements. The importance of controlling oxidative stress for the expression of drought and cold tolerance abilities is emphasized in the second section. In the third section, we examine the impacts of drought on cell-water relations, stomatal behaviour and water use, photosynthesis and crop yield, carbon and nitrogen metabolism, root growth and characteristics, and on drought tolerance. In the fourth section, the impacts of low positive and high temperatures on coffee physiology are discussed; some insights about effects of negative temperatures are also presented. Finally, the last section deals with shading in harsh environments as a mean of buffering climatic fluctuations, as well as of increasing environmental sustainability in coffee exploitation.
Coffea; chilling; frost; heat; photosynthesis; water deficit; water use; yield