University of Guam, Western Pacific Tropical Research Center - Research for Guam's Future
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Fields of Study

Soil Science

 

Soil Science Laboratory and Research Programs

 

Hafa adai and welcome to the home web page for the soil science program in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Guam. This program includes the Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory, research, instruction and extension, environmental aspects of soils science, soil quality improvement, and organic waste management.

Additional public institutions on Guam involved in soil science include the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the University of Guam Water and Energy Research Institute and the Guam Environmental Protection Agency. Soils are an important part of our natural environment and are essential in providing our food and fiber needs. On Guam and in many other parts of the Pacific, agriculture holds an important place in island culture. Issues related to soil and water pollution have become increasingly important for all Pacific islands as they experience growing populations and urban development. The soil science program at the University of Guam is addressing many of these issues for Guam and the region with the objectives of improving agricultural production, reducing threats of environmental pollution and the importation of potential pests, and preserving natural soil resources.

Seventeen different soil series have been mapped on Guam and are described in the U.S. Natural Resources Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture) 1988 publication "Soil Survey of the Territory of Guam".

Guam has a mean annual rainfall of approximately 2540 mm (100 inches) with a distinct dry season from January to June during which rainfall averages approximately 800 mm (32 inches). Mean annual temperature is 26 °C (79 °F) and the monthly temperature range varies approximately ± 2 °C (3.6 °F) from the mean.

The soils of Guam can be grouped into three primary categories: soils over limestone (pure or argillaceous), soils on volcanic uplands, and soils on bottomlands and coastal margins.

The predominant location of limestone-derived soils is in northern Guam and the predominant location of volcanic soils is in southern Guam.

The shallow, limestone-derived Guam soil series covers approximately 24% of the total land area of the island of 55,445 hectares (214 square miles).

Agricultural land use accounts for approximately 1-3 % of the total land use of Guam. Approximately 127 hectares (314 acres) of land are cultivated each year. Approximately 16,545 hectares of land (30% of the total) on Guam are at risk for erosion unless close-growing vegetation is maintained. Severe erosion of the Akina soil series on Guam exposes an infertile subsoil restricting regrowth of vegetation.

The following researchers are involved with this Field of Study:

Mohammad  Golabi - Publications

 

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