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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This page is no longer updated.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.

Saturday 9th December 2023

Impacts of changing land use on soil functions


In the past, soils have often been managed for a specific use with little consideration of the consequences for other soil functions. The challenge is to manage our soils effectively so that they can maintain the capacity to deliver a range of functions at a range of scales under a changing climate.

Current projects

  • Quantifying changes to soil carbon when establishing woodlands
  • Practical approaches for restoration of degraded peatlands to achieve carbon sequestration
  • Predicting the influence of soil management on greenhouse gas emissions
  • Predicting how changes in climate and management influence N2O emissions at national and regional scales
  • Simulating the effects of future climate and land use change on the cycling of carbon and nitrogen in Scottish soils
  • Predicting phosphorus leaching from Scottish soils and long-term change in soil P status


  • Improved information on the effects of land use or climate change on carbon and nitrogen cycling in organic rich soils at a range of scales
  • Capacity to forecast the effects of future scenarios of land use and climate change on soils at the landscape scale
  • Practical approaches to managing soils to minimise GHG emission and maximise C sequestration in soil


  • Stephen Chapman, The James Hutton Insitute
  • Bob Rees, Scotland's Rural College
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