Life cycle assessment of a highly diverse vegetable multi-cropping system in Fengqiu County, China

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dc.contributor.author Li, Li
dc.contributor.author Wu, Wenliang
dc.contributor.author Giller, Paul
dc.contributor.author O'Halloran, John
dc.contributor.author Liang, Long
dc.contributor.author Peng, Peng
dc.contributor.author Zhao, Guishen
dc.date.accessioned 2018-05-02T10:16:30Z
dc.date.available 2018-05-02T10:16:30Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.citation Li, L., Wu, W., Giller, P., O’Halloran, J., Liang, L., Peng, P. and Zhao, G. (2018) 'Life cycle assessment of a highly diverse vegetable multi-cropping system in Fengqiu County, China', Sustainability, 10(4), 983 (17pp). doi: 10.3390/su10040983 en
dc.identifier.volume 10
dc.identifier.issued 4
dc.identifier.startpage 1
dc.identifier.endpage 17
dc.identifier.issn 1937-0695
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/5964
dc.identifier.doi 10.3390/su10040983
dc.description.abstract Agricultural biodiversity usually leads to greater sustainability in production practices. To understand the environmental implications of the development of village-level multi-cropping in rural China, we compared the environmental impact of a highly diverse vegetable multi-cropping system to a conventional wheat/maize rotation system based on the method of life cycle assessment (LCA). Using household level cultivation data, this study examined the gate-to-gate environmental impacts of on-site cultivation practices relating to the production of 10,000 nutrient equivalent units. Results show that vegetable multi-cropping resulted in decreased average land requirement, and diesel, water and electricity usage by 69.8%, 62.2%, 71.7%, and 63.4%, respectively, while average nitrogen (Total N), phosphorus (P2O5), and potassium (K2O) usage in vegetable multi-cropping systems decreased by 16.3%, 42.1%, and 75.8%, respectively. Additional corresponding effects led to a decrease in the total global warming, eutrophication, and acidification potentials from external inputs by 21.6%, 16.7%, and 16.2% of the entire system, respectively. Moreover, the midpoint human toxicity potential from pesticide usage of the vegetable multi-cropping system was lower than that of the conventional system. However, the midpoint eco-toxicity potential from pesticide usage was higher due to certain highly toxic substances, and both human and eco-toxicity potentials from heavy metals were all higher by a few orders of magnitudes. Thus, to mitigate these detrimental consequences, some related measures are proposed for sustainable practices in the future implementation of multi-cropping systems. en
dc.description.sponsorship The National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0800906). en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher MDPI AG en
dc.relation.uri http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/10/4/983
dc.rights © 2018, the Authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.subject Life cycle assessment en
dc.subject Multi-cropping en
dc.subject Nutrient equivalent en
dc.subject Biodiversity en
dc.subject Sustainable development en
dc.title Life cycle assessment of a highly diverse vegetable multi-cropping system in Fengqiu County, China en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Paul Giller, Zoology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: p.giller@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.contributor.funder The National Key Research and Development Program of China
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle Sustainability en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress p.giller@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress j.ohalloran@ucc.ie en
dc.identifier.articleid 983


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© 2018, the Authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2018, the Authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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