Science Inventory

Emergy and Economic Evaluations of Four Fruit Production Systems on Reclaimed Wetlands Surrounding the Pearl River Estuary, China

Citation:

LU, H., W. Kang, D. E. CAMPBELL, H. Ren, Y. Tan, R. Feng, J. Luo, AND F. Chen. Emergy and Economic Evaluations of Four Fruit Production Systems on Reclaimed Wetlands Surrounding the Pearl River Estuary, China. ECOLOGICAL ENGINEERING. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 35(12):1743-1757, (2009).

Impact/Purpose:

This paper examines four fruit production system in subtropical southern china using both emergy and economic evaluations. Relative strengths and weaknesses of the two methods are analyzed and a method for expressing the economic input/output ratio in terms of emergy was developed. This paper may prove useful in better understanding the relationship between economic and emergy analyses. In addition, managers involved in fruit production, economic development, and planning may use the results reported in this paper. The overall impact of the paper is hard to predict; however, it is one in a series of papers by Lu Campbell, et al. that advances the science of better understanding the relationship between emergy and economic analyses to improve the function of agricultural and regional systems.

Description:

Emergy and economic methods were used to evaluate and compare a traditional tropical fruit cultivation system, for bananas, and three newly introduced fruit cultivation systems, for papaya, guava and wampee, on reclaimed wetlands of the Pearl River Estuary, China. The evaluations considered input structure, production efficiency, environmental impacts, economic viability and sustainability. The market effect on emergy exchange was assessed both for purchasing inputs and selling the fruit. These market effects were also considered in the evaluation of sustainability by using the emergy index for sustainable development (EISD), which was evaluated with and without taking the change of soil organic matter into consideration. The results showed that all three of the newly introduced systems are much more sustainable than the traditional banana growth system. The guava growth system had the highest emergy sustainability index (ESI=0.40). The high price of wampee resulted in it having the highest economic yield/cost ratio (4.87) and EISD (0.73). Emergy and economic evaluation are complementary methods, with emergy analysis shedding more light on non-market environmental support and impact, and economic analysis bringing market effects into greater consideration. The Emergy Exchange Ratio (EER) could be used as a bridge between emergy and economic evaluations for specific systems and/or processes.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 12/01/2009
Record Last Revised: 01/05/2010
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 217354

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION

MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT BRANCH