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CA Mushrooms

Book Review

Compendium of Coffee Diseases and Pests

Edited by Alvaro L. Gaitán, Marco A. Cristancho, Bertha L. Castro Caicedo, Carlos A. Rivillas, & Gabriel Cadena
2015, APS Press, St. Paul, MN
Softcover; 88 pages; 108 images
ISBN 978-0-89054-470-9

Coffee is the world’s most widely traded agricultural commodity but has become more expensive than ever, mostly due to diseases such as insects, mites, nematodes, and other disorders. Coffee Leaf Rust, insect and worm pests, and a host of other pests and disorders have devastated coffee crops in recent years. Coffee Leaf Rust alone has caused more than $1 billion in crop damage since 2012, making it one of the most commercially-important fungi in the world. This damage has had a major impact on both growers and consumers. And so it is timely that APS Press has just published a Compendium of Coffee Diseases and Pests. This new reference summarizes the current understanding of diseases and pests affecting coffee plantations worldwide, making it a vital resource to plant pathologists, extension personnel, growers, educators, students, regulatory agents, and other practitioners involved in diagnosis and crop management. The Compendium of Coffee Diseases and Pests concisely describes nearly 50 diseases, pests, and disorders of coffee plants. And like other compendia in this APS series, this book matches really good descriptions with more than 100 excellent visuals, and covers infectious diseases caused by viruses, phytoplasmas, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, as well as an alga. Additionally, nutritional deficiencies and physiological disorders that may be mistaken for plant diseases are also discussed, along with a short review of the taxonomy of the group of coffee plants, their origins, and the history (again, very briefly covered) of coffee production and consumption.

The abundant references cited in this compendium document the descriptions and provide resources for additional information. I think that even amateur mycologists will find the text fairly easy to understand; the color images are high resolution and very helpful and informative; an added bonus is the extensive glossary at the end.

The Compendium of Coffee Diseases and Pests will be most useful to plant pathologists and those involved in commercial production of this important crop plant, of course, but may be enjoyed by a great many hobbyists and botanists as well.

— Review by Britt Bunyard
— Originally published in Fungi