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Annual mean estimates of aboveground net primary production (NPP) at 15 sites at Jornada Basin LTER, 1989-ongoing

posted on 2023-11-30, 10:19 authored by Debra Peters, Laura Huenneke

This package contains values of mean annual aboveground net primary production (NPP, in grams per square meter per year) at 15 NPP study sites on Jornada Experimental Range (JER) and Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center (CDRRC) lands. Sites were selected to represent the 5 major ecosystem types in the Chihuahuan Desert (upland grasslands, playa grasslands, mesquite-dominated shrublands, creosotebush-dominated shrublands, tarbush-dominated shrublands). For each ecosystem type, three sites were selected to represent the range in variability in production and plant diversity; thus the locations are not replicates. At each site, a 1 hectare area was fenced in 1988 and a grid of 49 (48 at one playa location) 1m x 1m replicate quadrats was laid out when sampling began in 1989. In fall, winter, and spring periods aboveground biomass was calculated for each species and quadrat at each NPP site. These calculations rely on two data sources: 1) non-destructive horizontal cover and vertical height measurements of individual plants, or plant parts, within each quadrat, and 2) linear regression coefficients for each plant species derived from off-quadrat cover, height, and harvested biomass measurements. NPP is then calculated as the positive biomass increment between seasons. The annual totals in this dataset are derived by summing mean site NPP values for winter (October - February), spring (February - May), and fall (May - October) increments for a single calendar year. Data collection is ongoing with new annual NPP values calculated after the conclusion of each growing season.Attention:1) Calculated values in this data package have changed over time as the methodology for estimating biomass has changed. 2) Relating long-term NPP in this package with long-term precipitation is problematic given the importance of wet and dry periods and their effect on production in these ecosystems.See Notes 1 & 2 in the methods element for further details.

Resources in this dataset:


Agricultural Research Service

National Science Foundation, DEB-1832194


Data contact name

Data Manager

Data contact email


Environmental Data Initiative (EDI)

Use limitations

This information is released under the Creative Commons license - Attribution - CC BY ( The consumer of these data ("Data User" herein) is required to cite it appropriately in any publication that results from its use. The Data User should realize that these data may be actively used by others for ongoing research and that coordination may be necessary to prevent duplicate publication. The Data User is urged to contact the authors of these data if any questions about methodology or results occur. Where appropriate, the Data User is encouraged to consider collaboration or co-authorship with the authors. The Data User should realize that misinterpretation of data may occur if used out of context of the original study. While substantial efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of data and associated documentation, complete accuracy of data sets cannot be guaranteed. All data are made available "as is." The Data User should be aware, however, that data are updated periodically and it is the responsibility of the Data User to check for new versions of the data. The data authors and the repository where these data were obtained shall not be liable for damages resulting from any use or misinterpretation of the data. Thank you.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

Npp Is Measured At 15 Sites, Spanning 5 Vegetation Community Types In The Jornada Basin. This Bounding Box Includes All 15 Sites. More Precise Geographic Coordinates For This Study May Be Requested From The Jrn Lter Data Manager.

ISO Topic Category

  • farming
  • environment
  • biota
  • climatologyMeteorologyAtmosphere
  • geoscientificInformation

Ag Data Commons Group

  • Jornada Experimental Range
  • Long-Term Agroecosystem Research

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

agroecosystems; rangelands; sustainable agricultural intensification

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:18 - Agricultural Research Service

OMB Program Code

  • 005:040 - National Research

ARS National Program Number

  • 216

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Peters, Debra; Huenneke, Laura (2020). Annual mean estimates of aboveground net primary production (NPP) at 15 sites at Jornada Basin LTER, 1989-ongoing. Environmental Data Initiative (EDI).