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title Suspended solids in freshwater systems: characterisation model describing potential impacts on aquatic biota
authors Quinteiro, P; Dias, AC; Araujo, A; Pestana, JLT; Ridoutt, BG; Arroja, L
author full name Quinteiro, Paula; Dias, Ana Claudia; Araujo, Antonio; Pestana, Joao L. T.; Ridoutt, Bradley G.; Arroja, Luis
title Suspended solids in freshwater systems: characterisation model describing potential impacts on aquatic biota
nationality internacional
language English
document type Article
author keywords Algae and macrophyte communities; Erosion; Fate and effect modelling; Life cycle impact assessment; Macroinvertebrates; Water footprint; Water quality
abstract High concentration of suspended solids (SS)-fine fraction of eroded soil particles-reaching lotic environments and remaining in suspension by turbulence can be a significant stressor affecting the biodiversity of these aquatic systems. However, a method to assess the potential effects caused by SS on freshwater species in the life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) phase still remains a gap. This study develops a method to derive endpoint characterisation factors, based on a fate and effect model, addressing the direct potential effects of SS in the potential loss of aquatic invertebrate or algae and macrophyte species. Characterisation factors for the assessment of the direct effects of SS in the potential disappearance of macroinvertebrates, algae and macrophytes in 22 different European river sections were derived by combining both fate and effect factors. Fate factors reflect the environmental residence time of SS in river sections per unit of water volume in this same section. Effect factors were calculated from an empirical relationship between the potentially disappeared fraction (PDF) of aquatic species and the concentration of SS. These factors were determined based on a concentration-response function, on gross soil erosion data and detrimental concentrations of SS for different taxa in river sections. The product of fate with effect factors constitutes the characterisation factors for both macroinvertebrates, algae and macrophytes. The estimated EFs are higher for macroinvertebrates in almost all river sections under study, showing that the potential effects caused by SS throughout the water column are higher for macroinvertebrates than for algae and macrophytes. For macroinvertebrates, characterisation factors range between 2.8 x 10(-aEuro parts per thousand 7) and 3.1 x 10(-aEuro parts per thousand 3) PDF m(3) day mg(-1), whereas for algae and macrophytes, they range between 1.6 x 10(-aEuro parts per thousand 7) and 4.7 x 10(-aEuro parts per thousand 4) PDF m(3) day mg(-1). The developed method and the derived characterisation factors enable a consistent assessment and comparison of the potential detrimental effects of SS on aquatic invertebrate and macrophyte communities at different locations. Long-term, on-site monitoring of SS levels in the water column should be performed to understand the magnitude of the effects of SS on aquatic biota and to determine the taxa that are more sensitive to the SS stressor. This monitoring will improve the robustness of the proposed LCA method, the reliability of the characterisation factors, as well as the development of characterisation factors for a wider range of rivers.
author address [Quinteiro, Paula; Dias, Ana Claudia; Arroja, Luis] Univ Aveiro, Dept Environm & Planning, Ctr Environm & Marine Studies CESAM, P-3810193 Aveiro, Portugal; [Araujo, Antonio] Univ Lusiada Vila Nova De Famalicao, Sch Engn & Technol, P-4760108 Vila Nova De Famalicao, Portugal; [Pestana, Joao L. T.] Univ Aveiro, CESAM, Dept Biol, P-3810193 Aveiro, Portugal; [Ridoutt, Bradley G.] CSIRO, Agr Flagship, Clayton, Vic 3169, Australia
reprint address Quinteiro, P (reprint author), Univ Aveiro, Dept Environm & Planning, Ctr Environm & Marine Studies CESAM, Campus Univ Santiago, P-3810193 Aveiro, Portugal.
e-mail address p.sofia@ua.pt
funding agency and grant number FCT (Science and Technology Foundation-Portugal); POHP/FSE [SFRH/BD/78690/2011, SFRH/BPD/45342/2008]
funding text Thanks are due to FCT (Science and Technology Foundation-Portugal) and POHP/FSE funding programme for the scholarships granted to Paula Quinteiro (SFRH/BD/78690/2011) and Joao Pestana (SFRH/BPD/45342/2008).
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cited reference count 64
publisher city HEIDELBERG
issn 0948-3349
29-character source abbreviation INT J LIFE CYCLE ASS
iso source abbreviation Int. J. Life Cycle Assess.
publication date SEP
year published 2015
volume 20
issue 9
beginning page 1232
ending page 1242
digital object identifier (doi) 10.1007/s11367-015-0916-5
page count 11
web of science category Engineering, Environmental; Environmental Sciences
subject category Engineering; Environmental Sciences & Ecology
document delivery number CP2WU
unique article identifier WOS:000359739200003
link http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11367-015-0916-5