Technical Bulletin No. 0766: Agricultural Site Productivity: Principles Derived from Long-term Experiments and Their Implications for Managed Forests

Long-term agricultural field experiments provide information relevant to questions being asked about the sustainability of managed forests, particularly as management regimes become more intensive. In this paper, concepts and criteria related to sustainable site productivity are reviewed and findings from a range of long-term agricultural field experiments are evaluated. Based on this evaluation, the following site productivity principles were identified: (1) soil organic matter is the link between most management systems and sustainable site productivity, (2) nutrient deficiencies can be corrected, (3) soil texture is a key variable affecting soil organic matter and site productivity, (4) return of crop residues enhances soil organic matter and site productivity, and (5) productive cropping systems have environmental benefits.