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Sustainability 2015, 7(10), 14002-14025; doi:10.3390/su71014002

Design and Implementation of Emergy-Based Sustainability Decision Assessment System for Protected Grape Cultivation

College of Information and Electrical Engineering, China Agricultural University, 209# No.17 Qinghuadonglu, Haidian district, Beijing 100083, China
Faculty of Natural Sciences, Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica, Tajovského 40, Banská Bystrica 974 01, Slovakia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 14 August 2015 / Revised: 30 September 2015 / Accepted: 30 September 2015 / Published: 19 October 2015
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The characteristic “high input and output” in protected production has caused some environmental and ecological issues. Hence, emergy-based sustainability assessments are necessary and valuable. However, traditional emergy analysis is time consuming, tedious, and inefficient. Such disadvantages can be addressed by the integration of emergy analysis with information technology. This paper reports the development of the emergy-based sustainability decision assessment system (ESDAS) for protected grape cultivation systems. This system was established by first analyzing the business process, users, and requirements through survey, and the findings of which were used to design the system’s function, architecture, database, model base, and knowledge base with a combination of emergy methods. The results showed that ESDAS passed the system test and achieved the real-time calculation of emergy data and the automatization of emergy analysis. Therefore, this research is a beneficial attempt to apply information technology in improving the efficiency of sustainability assessments. The results also revealed that the protected grape cultivation system is characterized by a heavy dependence on purchased and non-renewable resource emergy, lower emergy yield ratio, higher emergy investment rate and environmental loading ratio, and lower emergy sustainability index. Some suggestions were made to improve the sustainability of the protected grape system. View Full-Text
Keywords: emergy; sustainability assessment; protected grape; system design; system test emergy; sustainability assessment; protected grape; system design; system test

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Feng, J.; Wang, J.; Zhang, X.; Zhao, F.; Kanianska, R.; Tian, D. Design and Implementation of Emergy-Based Sustainability Decision Assessment System for Protected Grape Cultivation. Sustainability 2015, 7, 14002-14025.

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