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    Author(s): J.J. Ewel; J.L. Whitmore
    Date: 1973
    Source: USDA Forest Service, Institute of Tropical Forestry, Research Paper ITF-018
    Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
    Station: International Institute of Tropical Forestry
    PDF: Download Publication  (16.8 MB)


    Most of the neotropical nations except Mexico and Brazil are mapped according to the Moldridge system of ecological life zones. In order to have comparability with these areas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were mapped and a discussion and a description of each life zone were written. The manuscript in English offers water balances, a description of the Holdridge theory of biotemperature, and greater detail in general. The shortened version in Spanish is intended as a field manual to be used with the map.

    Six life zones are present on these islands and are present also in South and Central America, representing large areas there. Research done on the islands will be directly applicable to those areas and conversely, successful practices done there will be applicable in corresponding life zones on the islands.

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Ewel, J.J.; Whitmore, J.L. 1973. The Ecological Life Zones of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. USDA Forest Service, Institute of Tropical Forestry, Research Paper ITF-018

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