Including the introduction of exotic species in life cycle impact assessment: The case of inland shipping

Marlia Mohd Hanafiah, Rob S E W Leuven, Nike Sommerwerk, Klement Tockner, Mark A J Huijbregts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While the ecological impact of anthropogenically introduced exotic species is considered a major threat for biodiversity and ecosystems functioning, it is generally not accounted for in the environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) of products. In this article, we propose a framework that includes exotic species introduction in an LCA context. We derived characterization factors for exotic fish species introduction related to the transport of goods across the Rhine-Main-Danube canal. These characterization factors are expressed as the potentially disappeared fraction (PDF) of native freshwater fish species in the rivers Rhine and Danube integrated over space and time per amount of goods transported (PDF·m3·yr·kg-1). Furthermore, we quantified the relative importance of exotic fish species introduction compared to other anthropogenic stressors in the freshwater environment (i.e., eutrophication, ecotoxicity, greenhouse gases, and water consumption) for transport of goods through the Rhine-Main-Danube waterway. We found that the introduction of exotic fish species contributed to 70-85% of the total freshwater ecosystem impact, depending on the distance that goods were transported. Our analysis showed that it is relevant and feasible to include the introduction of exotic species in an LCA framework. The proposed framework can be further extended by including the impacts of other exotic species groups, types of water bodies and pathways for introduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13934-13940
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume47
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2013

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Freight transportation
shipping
Fish
Life cycle
life cycle
fish
Ecosystems
Eutrophication
freshwater environment
Water
Biodiversity
freshwater ecosystem
ecological impact
Canals
Greenhouse gases
canal
eutrophication
greenhouse gas
Rivers
biodiversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Including the introduction of exotic species in life cycle impact assessment : The case of inland shipping. / Mohd Hanafiah, Marlia; Leuven, Rob S E W; Sommerwerk, Nike; Tockner, Klement; Huijbregts, Mark A J.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 47, No. 24, 17.12.2013, p. 13934-13940.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mohd Hanafiah, Marlia ; Leuven, Rob S E W ; Sommerwerk, Nike ; Tockner, Klement ; Huijbregts, Mark A J. / Including the introduction of exotic species in life cycle impact assessment : The case of inland shipping. In: Environmental Science and Technology. 2013 ; Vol. 47, No. 24. pp. 13934-13940.
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