Table 2

Net primary production for selected categories of terrestrial ecosystem adapted from Lieth (1975).

Vegetation unitArea (106 km2)Net primary productivity
Range (kg/ha/a)Approx. meanTotal production (109 t)
Forest50.0129064.5
Tropical rain forest17.01000–3500200034.0
Raingreen forest7.5600–3500150011.3
Summergreen forest7.0400–250010007.0
Chaparral1.5250–15008001.2
Warm temperate mixed forest5.0600–250010005.0
Boreal forest5.0200–15005006.0
Woodland7.0200–10006004.2
Dwarf and open scrub26.0902.4
Tundra8.0100–4001401.1
Desert scrub18.010–250701.3
Grassland24.060015.0
Tropical grassland15.0200–200070010.5
Temperate grassland9.0100–15005004.5
Desert (extreme)24.01
Dry desert8.50–103
Ice desert15.50–10
Total for continents*149.0669100.2
  • * includes terrestrial aquatic systems for which data are not shown