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Work Package 1.1: Soils

Work Package 1.1: Soils

Our soils provide many services or functions,  for example soils are essential for crop production but they also play an unseen role in limiting diffuse pollution to waters, storing organic carbon and reducing Green House Gas emissions to help mitigate climate change. They support life and are a valuable but vulnerable natural asset which is at risk of deterioration and loss through a number of factors such as land use and climate change.

Our  aim is to increase the area of Scotland under sustainable soil management and restore degraded soils to help safeguard the multi-functional capacity of Scotland’s soils under changing climate and land use.

This work package (Soil as a Natural Asset) has four linked research areas (see figure) reflecting the functioning of soils from gene to landscape and for the main Scottish ecosystems (peatland, montane, woodland, moorland and grassland). This will help us to improve our understanding of individual and interacting soil functions at different scales from plant to field to national. The work will generate new and improved knowledge on:

  • how soil functions and how the associated ecosystem services are regulated by soil chemical, physical and biological properties;
  • the sensitivity and resilience of soil and its functions to environmental changes and
  • changes in soil functions across space and time.

We will also develop new tools to measure, map and monitor soils and develop innovative approaches to predict how soils function and respond to environmental change.

WP1.1 research areas

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.