Seasonal Changes in Soil and Air Temperature at Three Locations in Puerto Rico, 1963-67

How to Cite

Lugo-López, M. A., & Capiel, M. (1972). Seasonal Changes in Soil and Air Temperature at Three Locations in Puerto Rico, 1963-67. The Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico, 56(3), 307–317.


Soil temperature data at Río Piedras in the north, Lajas in the southwest, and Fortuna in the south, are given in this paper for the 5-year period 1963- 67. Seasonal variations in soil and air temperatures follow distinct patterns somewhat, depending on the nature of the soil cover and rainfall. Mean maximum and minimum temperatures at the 2-inch depth, respectively, are: Río Piedras, 96.2° F. and 79.6° F.; Lajas, 102.1° F. and 69.0° F.; and Fortuna, 93.2° F. and 79.1° F. The corresponding soil temperatures at the 8-inch depth, respectively, are: Río Piedras, 80.5° F. and 77.4° F.; Lajas, 83.4° F. and 77.8° F.; and Fortuna, 85.7° F. and 82.7° F. The differences and trends of soil temperature at 2-inch and 8-inch depths can find adequate explanation when soil moisture and soil cover are considered. However, the differences between maximum and minimum soil temperatures at 8 inches of depth are roughly one fifth of the corresponding ones at the 2-inch depth. The maximum and minimum air temperature at Lajas, Fortuna and Río Piedras are much more similar to each other than the corresponding soil temperature, especially at the 2-inch depth. This is mainly because air temperature is rather measured on a macro and integrating scale while soil temperature measurements exhibit localized effects of soil cover and soil moisture. It was found that highly significant 2-inch soil-air temperature relationships are evident under bare soil conditions. The same relationships were not significant under sod cover at Fortuna.


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