Energy Consumption, Carbon Emissions and Global Warming Potential of Wolfberry Production in Jingtai Oasis, Gansu Province, China

Wang, Yaolin, Ma, Quanlin, Li, Yingke, Sun, Tao, Jin, Hujia, Zhao, Chuanyan, Milne, Eleanor, Easter, Mark, Paustian, Keith, Yong, Hoi Wen Au and McDonagh, John (2019) Energy Consumption, Carbon Emissions and Global Warming Potential of Wolfberry Production in Jingtai Oasis, Gansu Province, China. Environmental Management, 64 (6). pp. 772-782. ISSN 0364-152X

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Abstract

During the last decade, China's agro-food production has increased rapidly and been accompanied by the challenge of increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other environmental pollutants from fertilizers, pesticides, and intensive energy use. Understanding the energy use and environmental impacts of crop production will help identify environmentally damaging hotspots of agro-production, allowing environmental impacts to be assessed and crop management strategies optimized. Conventional farming has been widely employed in wolfberry (Lycium barbarum) cultivation in China, which is an important cash tree crop not only for the rural economy but also from an ecological standpoint. Energy use and global warming potential (GWP) were investigated in a wolfberry production system in the Yellow River irrigated Jingtai region of Gansu. In total, 52 household farms were randomly selected to conduct the investigation using questionnaires. Total energy input and output were 321,800.73 and 166,888.80 MJ ha−1, respectively, in the production system. The highest share of energy inputs was found to be electricity consumption for lifting irrigation water, accounting for 68.52%, followed by chemical fertilizer application (11.37%). Energy use efficiency was 0.52 when considering both fruit and pruned wood. Nonrenewable energy use (88.52%) was far larger than the renewable energy input. The share of GWP of different inputs were 64.52% electricity, 27.72% nitrogen (N) fertilizer, 5.07% phosphate, 2.32% diesel, and 0.37% potassium, respectively. The highest share was related to electricity consumption for irrigation, followed by N fertilizer use. Total GWP in the wolfberry planting system was 26,018.64 kg CO2 eq ha−1 and the share of CO2, N2O, and CH4 were 99.47%, 0.48%, and negligible respectively with CO2 being dominant. Pathways for reducing energy use and GHG emission mitigation include: conversion to low carbon farming to establish a sustainable and cleaner production system with options of raising water use efficiency by adopting a seasonal gradient water pricing system and advanced irrigation techniques; reducing synthetic fertilizer use; and policy support: smallholder farmland transfer (concentration) for scale production, credit (small- and low-interest credit) and tax breaks.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: energy use,global warming potential,greenhouse gas emissions,wolfberry plantation,global and planetary change,ecology,pollution ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2306
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2019 02:21
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2020 23:55
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/73294
DOI: 10.1007/s00267-019-01225-z

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