Global Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production (HANPP)

June 3, 2008 • News

For those familiar with the work of Stanford Biologist Peter Vitousek, this paper is related to his study of human consumption of the products of photosynthesis.

Humanity’s impact on the biosphere’s structures (e.g., land cover) and functioning (e.g., biogeochemical cycles) is considerable. It exceeds natural variability in many cases. Sanderson and others have classified up to 83% of the global terrestrial biosphere as being under direct human influence, based on geographic proxies such as human population density, settlements, roads, agriculture and the like; another study, by Hannah et al., estimates that about 36% of the Earth’s bioproductive surface is “entirely dominated by man”.

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