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Net primary production (NPP) is a central and fundamental carbon-related term in global change studies. We proposed a top-down method to quantifying forest NPP which overcomes the deficits of the traditional bottom-up method. The new top-down method combines eddy flux data, climate variables, tree inventory and metabolic theory. Our method was tested in six forests and provides reliable annual NPP estimations which are consistent with bottom-up results. Carbon use efficiency also supports thisdoi:10.3832/ifor2159-010 fatcat:unqxuru6dreshlxcwpfvn7kw7m