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Puerto Rico Serpentine Soils Tour

Dr. Alexander and Manuel Matos with red clayey soils on their hands. Serpentine rocks in background.The Mayaguez Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) soil survey office hosted Dr. Earl Alexander from California during his visit March 10-14, 2014. Dr. Alexander is the author of several books focused on the soil landscape and geoecology. He has visited numerous places in North, South and Central America studying and conducting research on serpentine soils.  The purpose of his visit to Puerto Rico was to observe, evaluate and gather information about the soil and plant communities associated with the serpentine zone in Puerto Rico. This area is located in the southwest region of the island in the towns of Yauco, Sabana Grande, San Germán, Maricao, Mayagüez and Cabo Rojo.

Left to right: Samuel Rios; MLRA soil scientist, Dr. Earl Alexander and Manuel Matos, MLRA Leader.The information collected by Dr. Alexander, including information provided by MLRA staff, will be used in chapter 10 of his new book “Serpentine Geoecology of North America.” The NRCS Caribbean Area MLRA staff members were pleased to assist Dr. Alexander with his tour, inspecting Oxixols, Mollisols and Alfisols developed from serpentine parental material on Puerto Rico.


Manuel Matos, MLRA Soil Survey Leader, 787-831-3416 x. 108.