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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 96 No. 1, p. 109-115
     
    Received: Feb 27, 2003


    * Corresponding author(s): liebigm@mandan.ars.usda.gov
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doi:10.2134/agronj2004.1090

AEPAT

  1. Mark A. Liebig *a,
  2. Martin E. Millerb,
  3. Gary E. Varvelc,
  4. John W. Doranc and
  5. Jon D. Hansona
  1. a USDA-ARS, Northern Great Plains Res. Lab., P.O. Box 459, Mandan, ND 58554-0459
    b 4800 Calhoun Rd. Dep. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Houston, Houston, TX 77204-3010
    c USDA-ARS, Soil and Water Conserv. Res. Unit, 119 Keim Hall, Dep. of Agron., Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0934

Abstract

Approaches to assess the effects of management practices on agroecosystem functions are needed. This paper describes a computer program designed to assess the relative sustainability of management practices using agronomic and environmental data. The program, entitled AgroEcosystem Performance Assessment Tool (AEPAT), utilizes performance-based index methodology to derive a relative ranking of agroecosystem performance among management practices for functions and indicators included in the procedure. The program is organized into eight major steps: Introduction, Input Files, Assign Indicators to Functions, Describe Indicators, Assign Weights, Select Output File, Calculate Agroecosystem Performance Scores, and Save Agroecosystem Project. Help windows as well as a tutorial are provided within the program to assist users through each step. Users must keep in mind the assumptions and drawbacks inherent to performance-based indices while using AEPAT. Additionally, the program requires data on many indicators to provide useful information on agroecosystem performance. Therefore, its use is intended primarily for clientele conducting long-term agroecosystem experiments.

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