Programme3 title line

The James Hutton Institute logoThe James Hutton Institute

This page is no longer updated. The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute joined forces with SCRI joined forces on 1 April 2011 to create The James Hutton Institute. Please visit the James Hutton Institute website.

Wednesday 19th June 2024

Conservation and Restoration


One of Scotland’s foremost assets is the biodiversity of its natural and semi-natural systems. A science-based conservation and restoration strategy depends upon knowledge of:

  • Species and habitat responses to management & policy-driven changes
  • Impacts of habitat fragmentation on genetic, as well as species diversity and how this affects habitat/species resilience and responses to further environmental change

We aim to deliver protocols for conservation and restoration of two important and contrasting habitats: upland grasslands (widespread, high income generating potential, lower biodiversity value) and native pinewoods (flagship natural conservation resource, but highly fragmented).


  • Effects on biodiversity of changing livestock densities and assessment of indicators of biodiversity in relation maintenance of land in ‘good agricultural and environmental condition’
  • The effects of fragmentation and herbivory on ecology and genetics of Scots pine and associated ground flora
  • How does large mammal herbivory affect birch growth and establishment?
  • Does clonal variation in aspen influence the associated lichen communities?


  • Predictions of how changes in conservation & agri- environment policies (particularly through influencing livestock numbers) will influence management and biodiversity goals
  • Evaluation of the extent and consequences of fragmentation of pine woodlands for genetic diversity and conservation
  • Protocols for genetic and ecological management of targeted upland & woodland plant species to guide biodiversity & conservation action


Heritage conservation pic