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RD 1.1.2 Soil resilience to change

Trees colonising moorland

Soil functions rely on a number of soil processes and properties, including soil structure, organic matter content, nutrient cycling and soil biodiversity. The sensitivity to change of each of these processes and properties will determine the overall resilience of soil functions, which is likely to vary among differing soil types. The challenge is to provide evidence of changes in soil function under different threats (e.g. climate change, nitrogen deposition, land use change) and to assess the relative impact of these threats within and between different habitats. Understanding the nature and impacts of threats to soil functions will contribute to identification of management options to increase the resilience of soil.

Aim of Research

To understand resilience of soils in Scottish semi-natural ecosystems. This research aims to understand the relationships among disturbance factors, soil properties, processes and soil functions for a range of important Scottish semi-natural ecosystems (peatland, moorland, woodland, grassland, alpine systems). This will enable assessments of the resilience of soil functions to changes in climate, environmental, and socio-economic factors.

This work builds on previous work within the RESAS strategic Programme and on collaborations with UK and international partners.

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 1.1.2 Soil resilience to change is available here and includes annual progress and highlights summaries, key outputs and links to case studies and key research staff.

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.