Net Primary Production Vulnerability

Key messages:

  • Map portrays vulnerability; a combination of changing biophysical impacts and the capacity of the ecosystem services sector to adapt to changing climate conditions
  • Vulnerability of the ecosystem services sector to negative changes in net primary productivity is predicted to be low or very low for the vast majority of the EU

Why is the content of this map important?

This map moves beyond biophysical impacts to estimate vulnerability by combining predicted impacts with the ability of a region to adapt to future changes. Net primary productivity (NPP) can be used as an indicator of short-term carbon uptake of an ecosystem, as well as its sustainability.

Which sectors are affected by this result?

Changing NPP has important implications for the forestry and ecosystem services sectors, and has an impact on how much carbon can be stored in terrestrial ecosystems, relevant for climate change mitigation. Changing NPP could also have large impacts on timber products as well as services such as recreation.

What is shown on the maps?

The map depicts estimated future vulnerability of regions to changing NPP, derived from an indicator-based approach. Vulnerability is the combination of the potential increase of impacts with the ability - or lack thereof - of a region to adapt to these changes, measured by its adaptive capacity (AC). Estimates of AC are combined with an estimate of changing NPP from impacts modeling, transformed into an indicator of the severity of change. An area with a high loss of NPP combined with low AC, is seen as highly vulnerable, whereas regions with little to no loss in NPP and high AC are viewed as less vulnerable. The vast majority of the EU is predicted to face low or very low vulnerability to changing NPP.

Details and further information:

This map is the combination of impacts with adaptive capacity. These impact indicators were derived from a multi-model ensemble estimate of changing NPP in grams per square meter per year. On the other hand, estimates of AC were produced via an indicator approach, which can be seen in the Atlas map on the adaptive capacity of ecosystem services.

Additional information:

To identify vulnerability, adaptive capacity projected for different regions was combined with potential impacts estimated by the LPJmL and CLM models. LPJmL was driven by the five mandatory climate simulations whereas for CLM only four out of the five simulations could be used(see topic on Forest Production)  Hence, the ensemble consists of 9 simulations in total.

vulnerability categorical values
0-4 4-8 8-12 12-16 16-20
very low low moderate high very high


Keith Williges

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)