Soil carbon, or the content of carbon housed within soil, plays a significant role in the release and absorption of global greenhouse gas emissions. Changes in land use contribute to release of this carbon, and Scottish Government is interested in the potential implications of such change across several policy areas.

This report considers the current state of knowledge on soil carbon and land use in Scotland, with a primary focus on rural land use in Scotland. It explores the types of soil in Scotland and their relative carbon content, how we understand the soil carbon abatement potential across the range of dominant land uses in Scotland. It also considers how we understand the carbon impact of different land management practices.