Acacia and eucalypt plantations, managed over rotation cycles of 5–8 years, are important resources for wood production in Southeast Asia. This paper reviews the processes that determine the productivity of successive crops under tropical environments and how the local management impacts on them. Experimental results show that if plantations are managed according to recognised scientific principles, productivity can be sustained and improved and the properties of the soil can be conserved. Field visits and review have identified key risks, the critical constraints on production and the challenges for improving system management. Sustaining production will be strongly dependent on developing an integrated approach to management, bringing together the best outcomes from genetic improvement, coordinated efforts on resource protection and site and soil management which conserves and enhances the productive capacity of soils. This requires both new investments in and redirection of research and development, and stronger partnerships amongst all stakeholders committed to sustainability.
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