LCA discussions

The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment

, Volume 4, Issue 6, pp 311-314

First online:

Eutrophication as an impact category

State of the art and research needs
  • Göran FinnvedenAffiliated withfms (Environmental Strategies Research Group) and FOA (National Defence Research Establishment) Email author 
  • , José PottingAffiliated withInstitute of Product Development, Technical University of Denmark, Building 424 Email author 

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State of the art and research needs for the impact category eutrophication are discussed. Eutrophication is a difficult impact category because it includes emissions to both air and water — both subject to different environmental mechanisms — as well as impacts occurring in different types of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The possible fate processes are complex and include transportation between different ecosystems. In some recent approaches, transportation modelling of air emissions has been included. However, in general, the used characterisation methods do not integrate fate modelling, which is a limitation. The definition of the impact indicator needs further research, too. The inclusion of other nutrients than those typically considered should also be investigated.


Air emissions aquatic systems biomass production ecosystems eutrophication fate modelling impact category nitrogen nutrients phosphorous terrestrial systems transportation water emissions