“Terrestrial ecosystems rely almost exclusively on the sun’s energy to support the growth and metabolism of their resident organisms. Plants are quite literally biomass factories powered by sunlight, supplying organisms higher up the food chain with energy and the structural building blocks of life. Land plants, or autotrophs, are terrestrial primary producers: organisms that manufacture, through photosynthesis, new organic molecules such as carbohydrates and lipids from raw inorganic materials (CO2, water, mineral nutrients). […] Gross primary production (GPP), shown here, is the total amount of carbon dioxide ‘fixed’ by land plants per unit time through the photosynthetic reduction of CO2 into organic compounds.” Quoted from Gough, C.M. (2011) Terrestrial Primary Production: Fuel for Life, Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):28.
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