Data Set Citation:
When using this data, please cite the data package:
NCEAS 2017: Prince: Global Primary Production Data Initiative , National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis , and Clark D.
Net Primary Production in tropical forests: an evaluation and synthesis of existing field data
chadden.60.8 (
General Information:
Title:Net Primary Production in tropical forests: an evaluation and synthesis of existing field data
Information on net primary production (NPP) in tropical forests is needed for the development of realistic global carbon budgets, for projecting how these ecosystems will be affected by climatic and atmospheric changes, and for evaluating eddy covariance measurements of tropical forest carbon flux. However, a review of the database commonly used to address these issues shows that it has serious flaws. In this paper we synthesize the data in the primary literature on NPP in old-growth tropical forests to produce a consistent data set on NPP for these forests. Studies in this biome have addressed only a few NPP components, all aboveground. Given the limited scope of the direct field measurements, we sought relationships in the existing data that allow estimation of unmeasured aspects of production from those that are more easily assessed. We found a predictive relationship between annual litterfall and aboveground biomass increment. For 39 diverse tropical forest sites, we then developed consistent, documented estimates of the upper and lower bounds around total NPP to serve as benchmarks for calibrating and validating biogeochemical models with respect to this biome. We developed these estimates based on existing field measurements, current understanding of aboveground consumption and biogenic volatile organic carbon emissions, and our judgment that belowground production is bounded by the range 0.2-1.2 x ANPP (aboveground NPP). Across this broad spectrum of tropical forests (dry to wet, lowland to montane, nutrient-rich to nutrient-poor soils), our estimates of lower and upper bounds on total NPP range from 1.7 to 11.8 Mg C/ha-yr (lower bounds) and from 3.1 to 21.7 Mg C/ha-yr (upper bounds). We also showed that two relationships that have been used for estimating NPP (the Bray-Gorham relationship based on leaf litterfall and the Miami model based on temperature or precipitation) are not valid for the tropical forest biome.
  • biomass increment
  • tropical dry forests
  • moist forests
  • montane forests
  • carbon budgets
  • forest inventory plots
  • litterfall
  • net primary production

Involved Parties

Data Set Creators:
Organization:NCEAS 2017: Prince: Global Primary Production Data Initiative
Organization:National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Individual: Deborah Clark
INTERLINK-341, P.O. Box 02-5635,
Miami, FL 33102 USA
(509) 766-6565 Ext. 147 (voice)
Email Address:
Data Set Contacts:
Individual: Deborah Clark
INTERLINK-341, P.O. Box 02-5635,
Miami, FL 33102 USA
(509) 766-6565 Ext. 147 (voice)
Email Address:
Associated Parties:
Individual: Sandra Brown
Individual: David Kicklighter
Individual: Jeffrey Chambers
Individual: John Thomlinson
Individual: Jian Ni
Individual: Elisabeth Holland

Data Set Characteristics

Geographic Region:
Geographic Description:We established the following criteria for sites and studies to include in our analysis. Study sites were restricted to forest stands (no woodlands or savanna) at latitudes 23.58 degrees N-23.58 degrees S. Site locations: Ivory Coast: L'Angue de dou Forest; Thailand: Khaochong; Colombia: Magdalena terrace; Ivory Coast: Banco; Malaysia: Pasoh; Ivory Coast: Yapo (Plateau); USA: Hawaii (Puu Kolekole); Brazil: Fazenda Gaviao; Colombia: Magdalena slope; Brazil: Fazenda Dimona; Puerto Rico: palm floodplain forest; French Guiana: Piste de Saint-Elie; Brazil: Paragominas; Brazil: Egler Reserve; Brazil: Fazenda Cabo Frio; Papua New Guinea: Mt. Kerigomma; Venezuela: San Eusebio; Jamaica-Blue Mtn. Mor Ridge; Venezuela: San Carlos (Oxisol); Puerto Rico: Colorado Forest Perm. plots; Jamaica: Blue Mt. Gap Forest; Brazil: Fazenda Porto Alegre; USA: Hawaii (Laupahoehoe); Venezuela: San Carlos tall caatinga; USA: Hawaii (Kohala); Jamaica: Blue Mt. Mull Ridge; Jamaica: Blue Mt. Wet Slope Forest; Puerto Rico: Guanica; USA: Hawaii (Kokee); Mexico: Chamela lower plot; India: Bannadpare; India: Agumbe; India: Kagneri; Mexico: Chamela middle plot; India: S. Bhadra; Mexico: Chamela upper plot; Puerto Rico: Pico del Este; USA: Hawaii, Site 6 (3400 yr, 1660 m); USA: Hawaii, Site 5 (3400 yr, 700 m).
Bounding Coordinates:
West:  -180.0  degrees
East:  180.0  degrees
North:  23.5  degrees
South:  -23.5  degrees

Sampling, Processing and Quality Control Methods

Data Set Usage Rights

no restrictions
Access Control:
Auth System:knb
Metadata download: Ecological Metadata Language (EML) File