Life Cycle Assessment of a Highly Diverse Vegetable Multi-Cropping System in Fengqiu County, China
AbstractAgricultural 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. View Full-Text
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Li, L.; Wu, W.; Giller, P.; O’Halloran, J.; Liang, L.; Peng, P.; Zhao, G. Life Cycle Assessment of a Highly Diverse Vegetable Multi-Cropping System in Fengqiu County, China. Sustainability 2018, 10, 983.
Li L, Wu W, Giller P, O’Halloran J, Liang L, Peng P, Zhao G. Life Cycle Assessment of a Highly Diverse Vegetable Multi-Cropping System in Fengqiu County, China. Sustainability. 2018; 10(4):983.Chicago/Turabian Style
Li, Li; Wu, Wenliang; Giller, Paul; O’Halloran, John; Liang, Long; Peng, Peng; Zhao, Guishen. 2018. "Life Cycle Assessment of a Highly Diverse Vegetable Multi-Cropping System in Fengqiu County, China." Sustainability 10, no. 4: 983.
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