Improving existing green house gas reduction measures

The aim of this research is to address some key farm-level and policy-level issues to help develop policies in Scotland and more widely in the UK and in Europe, as part of a wider national and international research programme. The research includes a combination of environmental economic modelling, survey work and development of monitoring and evaluation tools and approaches.

Increasing uptake of best practice

The aim of research deliverable is to explore the uptake of practices which improve the efficiency, productivity and sustainability of land, crop and livestock management throughout Scotland. The research builds on previous work within the RESAS Strategic Programme and on collaborations with UK and international partners.

Trade-offs between productivity and sustainability

The key aims and drivers of this research are:

Using and sharing data across supply chains

This RD will involve the development of tools and strategies to promote the increased use of data from across agricultural supply chains and industry networks, for management and feedback, in order to improve efficiency across the agri-food industry. We will focus on developing methodologies to help quantify and communicate the uncertainties resulting from pooling data across the supply chain.

Integrated management systems

The aim of this research is to develop integrated management systems to enhance economic and environmental sustainability in agriculture, focusing on two production systems: arable and ruminant livestock.

Alternative approaches to sustainable land management

Our overall aim is to investigate the potential productivity and environmental impacts of the introduction of alternative land management practices including measures introduced as part of CAP Greening.

Getting further value from the GHG research platform project

The aim of this work is to develop novel approaches to improve the understating of environmental and management controls of nitrous oxide emissions from the soils, and to improve the estimation of methane emissions from grazing cattle and sheep.

Sustainable soil and water management

The Sustainable Soil and Water Management Deliverable has three broad aims. First, we will generate new knowledge to help enhance the sustainable use and management of soils and water in agricultural systems whilst reducing environmental impact.

Disease threats in the environment

Disease Threats in the Environment: Investigate the importance of the environment in disease transmission and host susceptibility to improve risk prediction and ultimately disease control.

Protecting genetic diversity

We aim to address a research gap by suggesting how policy can be designed to target maximum diversity conservation (including co-benefits) at minimum cost; where cost and benefits are both financial and social.  Sub-objectives are:

Improvement of Livestock

To improve livestock for traits and management practices important for sustainability of livestock farming at an animal and farm system level. The work will focus on improving animal health and welfare, improving the quality and health attributes of meat and milk products, and increasing animal/farm system resilience (i.e.

Novel greenhouse gas reduction measures

The aim of this work is to develop novel approaches to greenhouse gas mitigation in the crop and livestock sectors though improved understanding of underlying processes, and to assess the mitigation potential of new measures using field experiments and modelling in order to extrapolate the findings.  The work also aims to provide policy and practical guidelines to greenhouse gas mitigation in S

Biodiversity and ecosystem functions

There remain large gaps in understanding how changes in management and the environment alter community composition and, hence, ecosystem functions. This Research Deliverable (RD) addresses how ecosystem functions are regulated by the traits of species present, and how potential limits for the maintenance of ecosystem function can be captured in ecosystem health metrics.

Ecosystem services provision

Ecosystem services provision:  To develop an in-depth understanding by 2021 of the impacts of selected management interventions (including restoration) on Ecosystem Service (ES) flows and of the associated trajectories of change.

Resilience of ecosystems and biodiversity

Resilience of ecosystems and biodiversity. This work aims to study the different  aspects of resilience of widlife species and natural ecosystems to improve our understanding of how biodiversity and ecosystems are likely to change in response to environmental and climate change, and how to manage them to increase their resilience to change.

Biodiversity management

Biodiversity management To deliver research that helps Scotland meet biodiversity goals as set by the Aichi Targets, the EU Biodiversity Strategy and, specifically, the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy. It will do this by considering the effectiveness of alternative biodiversity/land management measures and potential options for safeguarding against biodiversity loss.

Rural Landscapes and Community Wellbeing

The aim of the research within this RD is to improve understanding of issues around (re-) engagement of people with Scotland’s landscapes and natural environment. There are three key objectives set out for the research:

Local Assets, Local Decisions and Community Resilience

This research aims to examine how resilience in rural communities can be enhanced through processes of local empowerment and the role of wider networks and partnerships in facilitating the enhancement of resilience.

Place-based policy and its implications for policy and service delivery

Place-based policy and rural Scotland: To improve current understanding of (i) the main reasons for differences in economic performance and social outcomes across rural areas and small towns of Scotland, and (ii) how policies can help to deliver positive outcomes and address these disparities.

Demographic Change in Remote Areas

This research deliverable addresses the following question: What are the links between trends in farming/crofting/key rural industries and population change, in sparsely populated rural areas, and how do these affect the resilience of rural communities? The project will consider recent trends (since 1991) and will formulate scenarios for the period up to 2050.