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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR ARID RANGELANDS

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Patterns of net primary production across sites

Authors
item Knapp, Alan -
item Smith, Melinda -
item Peters, Debra
item Collins, Scott -

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 15, 2011
Publication Date: November 20, 2013
Citation: Knapp, A.K., Smith, M.D., Peters, D.C., Collins, S.L. 2013. Patterns of net primary production across sites. In: Long-Term Trends in Ecological Systems: A Basis for Understanding Responses to Global Change. National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia. Technical Bulletin Number 1931. p. 42-45.

Interpretive Summary: 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. Four questions regarding patterns and controls of NPP are proposed to illustrate the type of questions that can be answered with multi-site long-term data sets.

Technical Abstract: 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.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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