A life cycle assessment approach to quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from land-use change for beef production in eastern Australia
Henry, Beverley K., Butler, D., & Wiedemann, S. G. (2015) A life cycle assessment approach to quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from land-use change for beef production in eastern Australia. The Rangeland Journal, 37(3), pp. 273-283.
In life cycle assessment studies, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from direct land-use change have been estimated to make a significant contribution to the global warming potential of agricultural products. However, these estimates have a high uncertainty due to the complexity of data requirements and difficulty in attribution of land-use change. This paper presents estimates of GHG emissions from direct land-use change from native woodland to grazing land for two beef production regions in eastern Australia, which were the subject of a multi-impact life cycle assessment study for premium beef production. Spatially- and temporally consistent datasets were derived for areas of forest cover and biomass carbon stocks using published remotely sensed tree-cover data and regionally applicable allometric equations consistent with Australia's national GHG inventory report. Standard life cycle assessment methodology was used to estimate GHG emissions and removals from direct land-use change attributed to beef production. For the northern-central New South Wales region of Australia estimates ranged from a net emission of 0.03 t CO2-e ha-1 year-1 to net removal of 0.12 t CO2-e ha-1 year-1 using low and high scenarios, respectively, for sequestration in regrowing forests. For the same period (1990-2010), the study region in southern-central Queensland was estimated to have net emissions from land-use change in the range of 0.45-0.25 t CO2-e ha-1 year-1. The difference between regions reflects continuation of higher rates of deforestation in Queensland until strict regulation in 2006 whereas native vegetation protection laws were introduced earlier in New South Wales. On the basis of liveweight produced at the farm-gate, emissions from direct land-use change for 1990-2010 were comparable in magnitude to those from other on-farm sources, which were dominated by enteric methane. However, calculation of land-use change impacts for the Queensland region for a period starting 2006, gave a range from net emissions of 0.11 t CO2-e ha-1 year-1 to net removals of 0.07 t CO2-e ha-1 year-1. This study demonstrated a method for deriving spatially- and temporally consistent datasets to improve estimates for direct land-use change impacts in life cycle assessment. It identified areas of uncertainty, including rates of sequestration in woody regrowth and impacts of land-use change on soil carbon stocks in grazed woodlands, but also showed the potential for direct land-use change to represent a net sink for GHG.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Carbon sequestration, Grazed woodlands, Soil carbon stocks, Woody regrowth|
|Divisions:||Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2015 Australian Rangeland Society|
|Deposited On:||06 Aug 2015 01:41|
|Last Modified:||14 Aug 2015 05:31|
Repository Staff Only: item control page