Patterns of net primary production across sites

TitlePatterns of net primary production across sites
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKnapp AK, Smith MD, Peters DC, Collins S.L.
Book TitleLong-Term Trends in Ecological Systems: A Basis for Understanding Responses to Global Change
PublisherNational Technical Information Services
CitySpringfield, Virginia
Accession NumberJRN52665
ARIS Log Number256301
Keywordsatmospheric chemistry, climate change, cross-site comparisons, disturbance, ecological response, ecology, ecosystem, EcoTrends, experimental forests, global change, human demography, human population growth, Long Term Ecological Research (LTER), long-term datasets, precipitation, rangeland, rangeland research stations, surface water chemistry

Net primary production (NPP) is a fundamentally important and commonly measured ecosystem process that provides an integrative estimate of energy capture and flow into systems, and consequently the energy available for use by other trophic levels. A wide range of productivity levels occurs globally with high temporal dynamics among sites. This chapter discusses approaches to estimating NPP, highlights site-specific trends in productivity, and provides examples of past synthetic analyses across space and time. In terrestrial ecosystems, aboveground NPP are commonly measured or estimated. In many sites, spatial variation in NPP among locations within a site can overwhelm temporal variation.  In terms temporal patterns, at some sites clear temporal trends exist: NPP either increases or decreases with time; at other sites, strong interannual variations exist.  Past synthetic analyses have provided key insights into the relative roles of biotic versus abiotic drivers of dynamics as well as elucidating where and when biogeochemical versus climatic factors underlie patterns of NPP across biomes.  The chapter proposes four questions that can be addressed as long-term data sets at more sites become available.