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Gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) are the fundamental environmental characteristics that promote carbon exchanges with the atmosphere (Chapin and others, 2009), although other exchanges of carbon, such as direct oxidation (Lovett and others, 2006), can modify net ecosystem production (NEP). The accumulation of carbon in terrestrial ecosystems results in systems in which soil organic matter (SOM) carbon often exceeds biomass carbon (Post and Kwon, 2000). This SOM pool exists at a steady state between GPP and Re in ecosystems unless drivers change or the ecosystem endures environmental perturbations (for example, climatic). As indicated by Wilhelm and others (2011), conversion of grasslands to agriculture and cultivation can result in reduced soil carbon, with the release of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) to the atmosphere by stimulated oxidation and higher Re; therefore, land-use and land management practices have clear effects on NEP, with potential repercussions on ecosystems. The recent demand for biofuels has changed land-use and cropping patterns, especially in Midwestern United States (Wilhelm and others, 2011). It is important to ensure the sustainability of these and other land uses and to assess the effects on NEP
U.S. Geological Survey, Fact Sheet 2012–3134
U.S. Geological Survey
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Howard, Daniel; Gilmanov, Tagir; Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce; and Zhang, Li, "Net Ecosystem Production (NEP) of the Great Plains, United States" (2012). Natural Resource Management Faculty Publications. 130.