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The Databases

The FPE Database


The FPE dataset represents the most up-to-date dataset published including global data of Carbon Use Efficiency (CUE = Net Primary Production / Gross Primary Production) and Biomass Production Efficiency (BPE = Biomass Production / Gross Primary Production), collectively called "Forest Production Efficiency" (FPE). The data were obtained from more than 300 peer-reviewed articles (see also ref. 5), adding, merging and extending published works worldwide on CUE or BPE. Data were extracted from the text, Tables or directly from Figures using the Unix software g3data (version 1.5.2, Jonas Frantz). In most studies, NPP, BP and GPP were estimated for the tree stand only. However, GPP estimated from CO2 flux by micrometeorological methods applies to the entire stand including ground vegetation. We therefore included only those micro-meteorological studies where the forest stand was the dominant primary producer.
The database contains 244 records (197 for BPE and 47 for CUE) from >100 forest sites (including planted, managed, recently burned, N-fertilized, irrigated and artificially CO2-fertilized forests; representing 89 different tree species. Globally, 170 records out of the total data are from temperate sites, 51 from boreal, and 23 for tropical sites, corresponding to 79 deciduous broad-leaf (DBF), 14 evergreen broad-leaf (EBF), 132 evergreen needle-leaf (ENF) and 19 mixed-forests records (MX). The majority of the data (∼93%) cover the time-span from 1995 to 2015. We assume that when productivity data came from biometric measurements the reported NPP would have to be considered as BP because ‘occult’, nonstructural and secondary carbon compounds (e.g. BVOCs or exudates) are not included. In some cases, multiple datasets from the same site were included, covering different years or published by different authors. We considered only those values where either NPP (or BP) and GPP referred to the same year. From studies where data were available from more than 1 year, mean values across years were calculated. When the same reference for data was found in different papers or collected in different databases, where possible, we used data from the original source. When different authors described the same values for the same site, one single reference (and value) was used (in principle the oldest one). By using only commonly available environmental drivers to analyse the spatial variability in CUE and BPE, we were able to include almost all of the data that we found in the literature.

The Database is currently under update and is no longer "Open-Access" for this reason. For any request, or even if you would like to participate to the dataset updates, please contact: and/or

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