How one pesky snail could save coffee as we know it
Coffee leaf rust has been challenging coffee production in the Americas for decades, but researchers at the University of Michigan may have found a way to control the costly pest. The solution: Asian tramp snails. These gastropods are able to consume large quantities of coffee rust before the disease affects the plant. In one day, a single snail can ingest 30 percent of a leaf’s fungus. While these snails are usually omnivorous crop pests, munching on citrus, legumes, cabbage, and leafy greens, the researchers may have found a way to keep their diets focused on the coffee rust. National Geographic has the story.