Soil Research at Lyon Arboretum

Studying Soil in Hawaiʻi for Future Food Security

With an ever-increasing global human population, the demands on the world’s agricultural and water systems continue to grow.

Agricultural systems in the United States currently use about 80% of the nation’s fresh water to keep up with this increasing food demand.

Farmers in Hawaiʻi cultivate on many soil types; therefore, it is important to understand the properties that govern water retention in Hawaiʻi’s diverse soils. Currently, our state lacks basic data necessary to predict soil water behavior.

The goal of this research is to understand soil water retention across key agricultural soils of Hawaiʻi by identifying properties such as soil pore size and shape. Lyon Arboretum is among the study sites.

This project will help in making water use more efficient and agriculture more productive for future food security.

For more information about this project, contact Kristy Lam at