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This page is no longer updated.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

Response Functions


To determine risk, the magnitude of response to different levels of threat needs to be assessed.

Assessing response functions requires:

  • New activities and approaches that focus on key dose-response relationships associated with the primary threats identified in Module 1:
    • Loss of organic carbon
    • Soil erosion
    • Soil water status
    • Impact of contamination

The magnitude of the risk posed by different threats cannot be elucidated without first defining some sort of dose-response function. I.e. what level of rainfall results in what level of soil erosion? The incorporation of well-defined dose-response functions will improve end-user confidence in outputs such as risk maps.


  • Improved understanding of the processes involved in responses such as loss of organic carbon, and the impact of heavy metals on microbial indicators. This will inform land management.
  • Quantified response functions for the four issues outlined above.
  • Incorporation into the risk characterisation described in Module 1.


Dr. Blair McKenzie, SCRI.


Protecting the nations soils pic