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RD 1.3.2 Ecosystem services provision

Woodland in Cumbernauld

Using a range of innovative tools and techniques, our research explores the impact of management interventions on ecosystem services. We focus on the ecosystem services provided by woodland and semi-natural (upland) habitats. Our work on woodlands explores human-nature interactions across different case-studies and sites across Scotland. In upland semi-natural habitats, we are investigating the impact of different management approaches on carbon sequestration, biodiversity, agricultural productivity and zoonotic disease risk.

Aim of Research

To develop an in-depth understanding by 2021 of the impacts of selected management interventions (including restoration) on Ecosystem Service (ES) flows and of the associated trajectories of change. This will be linked to decision making and reporting towards international commitments at the national level, and help develop our impact and collaborations in the international scientific community.

Further information

General information on the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes (SEFARI) and the Scottish Government funded Strategic Research Portfolio can be found on the SEFARI website.

Within this, there are webpages providing summary overview information for each of the Research Deliverables (RDs) within the Strategic Programme. The page for RD 1.3.2 Ecosystem services provision is available here and includes annual progress and highlights summaries, key outputs and links to case studies and key research staff.
To complement this, some additional information is provided below on contacts and outputs.


A multidisciplinary team at the James Hutton Institute and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh works towards assessing the effects of different management strategies on ecosystem benefits from woodlands. This work includes:

  1. a multi-site study assessing trajectories of changes in ecosystem benefits, in woodlands in Cumbernauld Living Landscape, the Cairngorms National Park and Glen Creran
  2. in-depth studies on specific interventions and their impacts especially on cultural ecosystem services.
  3. Contact: Antonia Eastwood


One of our study sites in Glen Creran: What do non-experts think about this forest, and does information on Atlantic rain forests and lichen communities influence their views?

Semi-natural habitats in upland areas

A team from Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) and the Moredun Institute investigates the impact of different management approaches (livestock grazed upland grass moorland, destocked upland grass moorland, low density montane woodland, and scrub planted on upland grass moorland and heath) on ecosystem services. Apart from services related to carbon sequestration, biodiversity and agricultural productivity, these will also include benefits related to the management of zoonotic disease risk (for example, Cryptosporidium, Giardia and Toxoplasma).

Contact: Davy McCracken

Project Information
Project Type: 
Active Project
SEFARI – Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research InstitutesSEFARI is the collective of six Scottish world-leading Research Institutes working across the spectrum of environment, land, food, agriculture and communities – all topics which affect how we live our lives, in Scotland and beyond.


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.