Life cycle impacts of topsoil erosion on aquatic biota: case study on Eucalyptus globulus forest
- 282 Downloads
This study illustrates the applicability of a framework to conduct a spatially distributed inventory of suspended solids (SS) delivery to freshwater streams combined with a method to derive site-specific characterisation factors for endpoint damage on aquatic ecosystem diversity. A case study on Eucalyptus globulus stands located in Portugal was selected as an example of a land-based system. The main goal was to assess the relevance of SS delivery to freshwater streams, providing a more comprehensive assessment of the SS impact from land use systems on aquatic environments.
The WaTEM/SEDEM model, which was used to perform the SS inventory, is a raster-based empirical erosion and deposition model. This model allowed to predict the amount of SS from E. globulus stands under study and route this amount through the landscape towards the drainage network. Combining the spatially explicit SS inventory with the derived site-specific endpoint characterisation factors of SS delivered to two different river sections, the potential damages of SS on macroinvertebrates, algae and macrophytes were assessed. In addition, this damage was compared with the damage obtained with the commonly used ecosystem impact categories of the ReCiPe method.
Results and discussion
The relevance of the impact from SS delivery to freshwater streams is shown, providing a more comprehensive assessment of the SS impact from land use systems on aquatic environments. The SS impacts ranged from 15.5 to 1234.9 PDF m3.yr.ha−1.revolution−1 for macroinvertebrates, and from 5.2 to 411.9 PDF.m3.yr.ha−1.revolution−1 for algae and macrophytes.
For some stands, SS potential impacts on macroinvertebrates have the same order of magnitude than freshwater eutrophication, freshwater ecotoxicity, terrestrial ecotoxicity and terrestrial acidification impacts. For algae and macrophytes, most of the stands present SS impacts of the same order of magnitude as terrestrial ecotoxicity, one order of magnitude higher than freshwater eutrophication and two orders of magnitude lower than freshwater ecotoxicity and terrestrial acidification.
The SS impact results allow concluding that the increase of SS in the water column can cause biodiversity damage and that the calculated impacts can have a similar or even higher contribution to the total environmental impact than the commonly used ecosystem impact categories of the ReCiPe method. A wide application of the framework and method developed at a local scale will enable the establishment of a regionalised SS inventory database and a deep characterisation of the potential environmental impacts of SS on local aquatic environments.
KeywordsAlgae and macrophytes Eucalyptus globulus Land use Life cycle assessment Macroinvertebrates Suspended solids Topsoil erosion WaTEM/SEDEM model
We thank FCT (Science and Technology Foundation—Portugal) and POHP/FSE funding program for the scholarship granted to Paula Quinteiro (SFRH/BD/78690/2011).
- Beck T, Bos U, Wittstock B, Baitz M, Ficher M, Sedlbauer K (2011) Land Use Indicator Value Calculation in Life Cycle Assessment (LANCA)—Method Report. Fraunhofer IBP, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
- Commision E (2005) Soil atlas of Europe. European Soils Bureau Network. European Commission, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
- Croke J (2004) Forests and soil erosion control. In: Burley J, Evans J, Youngquist J (eds) Encyclopaedia of forest sciences. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
- Desmet PJJ, Govers G (1996a) A GIS procedure for automatically calculating the USLE LS factor on topographically complex landscape units. J Soil Water Conserv 51:427–433Google Scholar
- EEA (2012) CORINE Land Cover 2006. In: Eur. Environ. Agency. http://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/data/corine-land-cover-2006-raster-2. Accessed December 2014Google Scholar
- FAO (2013) State of Mediterranean Forests 2013. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsGoogle Scholar
- Goedkoop M, Heijungs R, Huijbregts M, de Schryver A, Struijs J, Van Zelm R (2013) ReCiPe. A Life Cycle Impact Assessment method which comprises harmonised category indicators at the midpoint and the endpoint level. First edition (version 1.08). Ministerie van Volkshuisvesting. Ruimtelijke Ordening en Milieubeheer, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
- Grimm M, Jones R, Montanarella L (2002) Soil erosion risk in Europe. European Soil Bureau, Institute for Environment & Sustainability, JRC Ispra, ItalyGoogle Scholar
- ICNF (2013) 6° Inventário florestal nacional. [6th National forest inventory.]. Áreas dos usos do solo e das espécies florestais de Portugal. Resultados preliminares. Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas, Lisboa, PortugalGoogle Scholar
- IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, New York, USAGoogle Scholar
- ISO (2006a) Environmental management—Life Cycle Assessment—Principles and Frameworks. ISO 14044. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
- ISO (2006b) Environmental management—Life Cycle Assessment—Requirements and Guidelines. ISO 14044. International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
- IUCN (2015) International Union for Conservation of Nature. Red list of threatened species. Version 2014.3. http://www.iucnredlist.org/. Accessed November 2014Google Scholar
- JRC-IES (2012) The International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook (online version). http://eplca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/?page_id=86. Accessed March 2015
- Kosmas C, Danalatos NG, López-Bermúdez L, Diaz MAR (2012) The effect of land use on soil erosion and land degradation under Mediterranean conditions. In: Geeson NA, Brandt CJ, Thornes J (eds) Mediterranean desertification. A mosaic of processes and responses. John Wiley & Sons, West SussexGoogle Scholar
- Michelsen O (2008) Assessment of land use impact on biodiversity. Proposal of a new methodology exemplified with forestry operation in Norway. Int J Life Cycle Assess 13:22–31Google Scholar
- Notebaart B, Govers G, Gobin A, Verlinden G (2005) Eindrapport: verbetering kwantificering van diffuse verontreiniging van oppervlaktewater met metalen uit erosie. Vlaamse MilieumaatschappijGoogle Scholar
- Pimenta MT (1998) Directrizes para a aplicação da equação universal de perda dos solos em SIG, Parâmetro de cultura C e parâmetro de erodibilidade do solo K. [Guidelines for the implementation of the universal equation of soil loss in GIS. C and K parameters. Instituto da Água/Direção de Serviços de Recursos Hídricos, LisboaGoogle Scholar
- Renard KG, Foster GR, Weesies GA, Mc Cool DK, Yoder DC (1997) Predicting soil erosion by water: a guide to conservation planning with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE). Agricultural Handbook No. 703, United States Department of AgricultureGoogle Scholar
- SNIRH (2015) Dados de base. [Database.]. Sist. Nac. Informação Recur. Hídricos., Lisboa, Port. http://snirh.apambiente.pt/. Accessed December 2014