Login / Register (0)

Terrestrial Ecosystem Productivity

“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.
Read more and see an animated version of this map in our blog


Purchase map use license. Includes high-resolution map.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial - ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For any commercial use (including in publishing) a map use license needs to be obtained.

Technical Notes

This map shows the land surface resized according to its annual gross primary production (GPP) in terms of their carbon currency (g C m-2). Each transformed grid cell in the map is proportional to the total annual production in that area which is also indicated through the colours that are overlaid. GPP is the net amount of energy that is produced by the main energy producers of an ecosystem.
Production is determined by first computing a daily net photosynthesis value which is then composited over an 8-day interval of observations for a year.

Data sources
This map uses satellite-derived cumulative composite Gross Primary Production values from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MOD17) at 1km resolution (accessed June 2018).

Explore More

Back to top

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Your email will only be used for the newsletter and not be passed on to any third parties. Read our privacy statement for more info.