Pesticide emission modelling and freshwater ecotoxicity assessment for Grapevine LCA: adaptation of PestLCI 2.0 to viticulture

Renaud-Gentié Christel, Teunis Johannes Dijkman, Anders Bjørn, Morten Birkved

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    Purpose Consumption of high quantities of pesticides in viticulture emphasizes the importance of including pesticide emissions and impacts hereof in viticulture LCAs. This paper addresses the lack of inventory models and characterization factors suited for the quantification of emissions and ecotoxicological impacts of pesticides applied to viticulture. The paper presents (i) a tailored version of PestLCI 2.0, (ii) corresponding characterization factors for freshwater ecotoxicity characterization and (iii) result comparison with other inventory approaches. The purpose of this paper is hence to present a viticulture customized version of PestLCI 2.0 and illustrate the application of this customized version on a viticulture case study.
    Methods The customization of the PestLCI 2.0 model for viticulture includes (i) addition of 29 pesticide active ingredients commonly used in vineyards, (ii) addition of 9 viticulture type specific spraying equipment and accounting the number of rows treated in one pass, and (iii) accounting for mixed canopy (vine/cover crop) pesticide interception. Applying USEtox™, the PestLCI 2.0 customization is further supported by the calculation of freshwater ecotoxicity characterization factors for active ingredients relevant for viticulture. Case studies on three different vineyard technical management routes illustrate the application of the inventory model. The inventory and freshwater ecotoxicity results are compared to two existing simplified emission modelling approaches.
    Results and discussion The assessment results show considerably different emission fractions, quantities emitted and freshwater ecotoxicity impacts between the different active ingredient applications. Three out of 21 active ingredients dominate the overall freshwater ecotoxicity: Aclonifen, Fluopicolide and Cymoxanil. The comparison with two simplified emission modelling approaches, considering field soil and air as part of the ecosphere, shows that PestLCI 2.0 yields considerable lower emissions and, consequently, lower freshwater ecotoxicity. The sensitivity analyses reveal the importance of soil and climate characteristics, canopies (vine and cover crop) development and sprayer type on the emission results. These parameters should therefore be obtained with site-specific data, while literature or generic data that are acceptable inputs for parameters whose uncertainties have less influence on the result.
    Conclusions Important specificities of viticulture have been added to the state-of-the-art inventory model PestLCI 2.0. They cover vertically trained vineyards, the most common vineyard training form; they are relevant for other perennial or bush crops provided equipment, shape of the canopy and pesticide active ingredients stay in the range of available options. A similar and compatible model is needed for inorganic pesticide active ingredients emission quantification, especially for organic viticulture impacts accounting.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
    Issue number11
    Pages (from-to)1528-1543
    Number of pages16
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Agriculture
    • Emission
    • Fate
    • Life cycle assessment
    • Plant protection product
    • USETox
    • Vineyard
    • USETox™

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