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Spatially explicit life cycle impact assessment for soil erosion from global crop production

Title data

van Zelm, Rosalie ; van der Velde, Marijn ; Balkovič, Juraj ; Čengić, Mirza ; Elshout, Pieter M. F. ; Koellner, Thomas ; Núñez, Montserrat ; Obersteiner, Michael ; Schmid, Erwin ; Huijbregts, Mark A. J.:
Spatially explicit life cycle impact assessment for soil erosion from global crop production.
In: Ecosystem Services. (2017) . - in press.
ISSN 2212-0416
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2017.08.015

Abstract in another language

We derived spatially explicit erosion rates in kg of soil lost per kg of crop as a function of crop choice and management practice on a global scale. These so-called characterization factors (CFs) can be used in product life cycle assessment studies to determine the impact of crop cultivation on soil erosion. We used the biophysical crop model EPIC to determine yields and erosion rates for cassava, corn, rapeseed, soybean, sugarcane, sunflower, and wheat under subsistence, rainfed with fertilizer, and high input (irrigation and fertilizer) farming. Yields varied considerably and contributed to variation in CFs to the same extent as erosion rates. Variation in CFs was mainly attributable to geographic location. Crop type and management scenario still lead to variation in CFs of 2 orders of magnitude, and a factor of 6, respectively. Lowest CFs were predicted for sugarcane worldwide, while largest impacts were seen for rapeseed. Largest median CFs were predicted for subsistence farming, while smallest CFs were obtained for high input systems. Median estimated damage in 2014 erosion costs ranged from 0.5 $/t sugarcane to 526 $/t rapeseed. Farmers can minimize erosion by carefully selecting management strategies, while purchasers can carefully select source locations to help reduce erosion related environmental damage.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER143259
Keywords: Life cycle impact assessment; Soil loss; Spatial variation; Annual crop cultivation; Damage costs
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Ecological Services > Professorship Ecological Services - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Köllner
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Ecological Services
Result of work at the UBT: No
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2017 10:16
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2018 09:06
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/40182