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ClimateChange@Hutton - Forestry and Woodland

Scotland’s forests store large quantities of carbon in their wood and in the soil beneath them. However, their planting needs to be carefully considered in the context of other environmental and human factors. Peaty soils for example can lost carbon if trees are planted on them, and growing forests on valuable agricultural land will influence food security and farmer livelihoods. At the James Hutton Institute we are exploring how tree growth can be balanced against other land uses, and how mixed agriculture and forestry can be achieved in Scotland. This includes social and economic research as well as biophysical, evaluating impacts of forest-based mitigation and adaptation strategies.

The implications for economics and government policy on forestry are also important to consider, as are the impacts of forestry on rural communities, tourism and public attitudes to different types of forestry. There are trade-offs to be achieved between the multiple benefits that forestry can bring, and these must be carefully balanced within individual landscapes. Innovative uses for woodland, planted forests and forest products are important to developing responses to climate change, where the growth and suitability of different tree species will be affected.

Contact Maria Nijnik for further information.


Areas of Interest

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.