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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This page is no longer updated.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.

Monday 22nd July 2024

Management of soils to enhance function and value

Our research to understand the ecological, economic and social values of soils will provide knowledge on the options for managing soils in Scotland for multiple benefits under changing environmental and economic conditions.

Management of our soil resources to sustain our land-based economies into the future is reliant upon a sound and evolving evidence-base which can be used in decision making by land managers and in the development of robust policy and practical guidance. We are updating and expanding this evidence-base by investigating; 

  • How soils respond to changes in land use and management practices, in particular the management of organic matter.
  • The consequences of changing land use and management practices on the range of diverse benefits we obtain from soils.
  • How changing environmental conditions, especially climate change, can affect soil use, benefits from soil and ultimately the sustainable use of our soil resources.


We are a team of ~40 scientific and technical staff working in partnership across four Scottish research organisations (Macaulay, BioSS SAC, SCRI). Our research is constructed around three interacting modules focussed on key social, economic and environmental challenges.  

Work package co-ordinator: Dr Helaina Black

Macaulay Institute
AB15 8QH
Tel:+44 (0) 1224 395000


Earthworks pic

More on value of soils to Scotland’s society...

Soil structure pic

More on structure and function of soil ecosystems...

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More on impact of changing land use on soil functions...