Methods of Estimating Aboveground Net Primary Productivity

  • Osvaldo E. Sala
  • Amy T. Austin


Estimating net primary productivity (NPP) has been a central goal of basic and applied ecologists. Very important questions rely on good estimates of NPP: the global carbon balance, the location of the missing carbon sink, and predictions of global climate change (see Chapter 3). Primary productivity represents the major input of carbon and energy into ecosystems and McNaughton (1989) proposed NPP as an integrative variable of the functioning of the whole ecosystem because of its relationships with animal biomass, secondary productivity, and nutrient cycling. From an applied perspective, primary production of grasslands determines forage availability and constrains animal carrying capacity whereas primary production of forests is directly related to wood yield.


Green Biomass Peak Biomass Litter Trap Plant Canopy Analyzer Global Carbon Balance 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Osvaldo E. Sala
  • Amy T. Austin

There are no affiliations available

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