Kiritimati, the largest land area atoll in the world, is undergoing rapid population increase, and, given the isolation of the island, local food production will have to be expanded to support the residents. Two soils investigations were completed in the 1960s, but no additional information on the soil resources of the island has been produced since that time. In this study, 15 soil profiles were described and analyzed. Where possible, comparison has been made with previous work, and discussion of the soil-forming factors is presented. Results confirm that soils are weakly developed (Entisols) with relatively low organic matter contents and low water-retention capacity. These properties are expected from the age of the parent materials and the relatively dry climate of the island. Total elemental analyses show that the soils contain very low concentrations of potassium and important trace elements (iron, manganese, copper, and zinc), which will limit any plant production. Classification of the soils identified eight soil families, mainly separated on the basis of content of larger coarse fragments and soil moisture regime, including the influence of groundwater. Comparison with previous studies showed that although different nomenclature and classification systems were used, similar soil patterns were observed, and the soils of Kiritimati are relatively unique in the Pacific islands.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 63 • No. 3