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Methodology for assessing soil quantity and quality in life cycle assessment

Cowell, SJ and Clift, R (2000) Methodology for assessing soil quantity and quality in life cycle assessment Journal of Cleaner Production, 8 (4). pp. 321-331.

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Changes resulting from economic activities in the quantity and quality of soil in a system under analysis are important considerations in a life cycle assessment (LCA) study because they affect the safeguard subjects of resources and future agricultural productivity. In the approach proposed here, soil is treated as an ancillary which may leave the system in a form different from that at entry. Relevant factors describing possible changes in the soil include: soil mass, nutrients, weeds and weed seeds, pathogens, nutrients, salts, pH, organic matter, and soil texture and structure. Many of the factors can be included by modelling the effects of infrequent activities benefitting the crop(s) under analysis. Three additional factors require separate assessment: changes in the mass of soil, its organic matter content, and soil compaction. Taken together, these approaches provide an integrated assessment method capable of accounting for the overall impacts of agricultural production on soil.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Cowell, SJ
Date : 1 August 2000
DOI : 10.1016/S0959-6526(00)00023-8
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 12:08
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 21:46

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