Reliable estimates of site productivity are essential for improved predictions of timber yields and for meaningful simulation studies. Few suitable techniques exist for tropical moist forests. Conventional indices such as site index cannot be estimated reliably for stands with many species or indeterminate ages. Emerging techniques require two steps: calibration and validation with permanent sample plots, and correlation with easily measured stand parameters. One promising index for the tropical moist forest is based on the expected diameter increment of individual trees adjusted for tree size and competition. Measures of stand height such as maximum stand height, canopy height and the height-diameter relationship may also prove useful. Proposed measures should satisfy four criteria: they should be reproducible and consistent over long periods of time; indicative of the site, and not unduly influenced by stand condition or management history; correlated with the site's productive potential; and at least as good as any other productivity measures available.
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Publisher's version of article available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0378-1127(92)90017-4