Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production: Patterns, Trends, and Planetary Boundaries

Posted: 25 Oct 2014

See all articles by Helmut Haberl

Helmut Haberl

Alpen Adria University

Karl-Heinz Erb

Alpen Adria University

Fridolin Krausmann

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology

Date Written: October 2014

Abstract

Economic and population growth result in increasing use of biophysical resources, including land and biomass. Human activities influence the biological productivity of land, altering material and energy flows in the biosphere. The human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP) is an integrated socioecological indicator quantifying effects of human-induced changes in productivity and harvest on ecological biomass flows. We discuss how HANPP is defined, measured, and interpreted. Two principal approaches for constructing HANPP assessments exist: (a) In an area-specific approach, HANPP serves as an indicator of land-use intensity, gauging impacts on terrestrial ecosystems in a defined area; and (b) the consumption-based “embodied HANPP” approach allows assessment of impacts related to individual products or the aggregate consumption of nation-states. The HANPP framework can help to estimate upper limits for the biosphere's capacity to provide humanity with biomass for food, fiber, and bioenergy and to analyze systemic feedbacks between the delivery of these resources. We outline HANPP's global patterns and trajectories and how HANPP relates to planetary boundaries, global resource use, and pressures on biodiversity.

Suggested Citation

Haberl, Helmut and Erb, Karl-Heinz and Krausmann, Fridolin, Human Appropriation of Net Primary Production: Patterns, Trends, and Planetary Boundaries (October 2014). Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol. 39, pp. 363-391, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2514317 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-121912-094620

Helmut Haberl (Contact Author)

Alpen Adria University ( email )

Universitätsstraße 65
Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, 9020
Austria

Karl-Heinz Erb

Alpen Adria University ( email )

Universitätsstraße 65
Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, 9020
Austria

Fridolin Krausmann

Alpen Adria University - Institute of Social Ecology ( email )

Schottenfeldgasse 29, A-1070
Vienna
Austria

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