Long-term and large-scale interactions of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in UK land

The sustainability of our world depends fundamentally on nutrients. In order to feed 7 billion people, humans have more than doubled global terrestrial cycling of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P).

LTLS: The Long Term Large Scale Project

The world’s N and P cycles are now out of balance, causing major environmental, health and economic problems that have received far too little attention. Insufficient access to nutrients still limits food production and contributes to land degradation in some parts of the world, while limited P reserves represent a risk for future global food security.

Unless action is taken, increases in population and per capita consumption of energy and animal products will exacerbate nutrient losses, pollution levels and land degradation, further threatening the quality of our water, air and soils, affecting climate and biodiversity."

The LTLS project has provided scientific knowledge to address these problems. LTLS focused on the UK, a region of the world which has seen enormous changes in nutrient levels and movements over the last 200 years.

The overall aim of the project was to develop an Integrated Model of macronutrient pools and fluxes for the UK, test and validate it with historical and contemporary data, and then apply it in scenario analyses to look into the future.

Funding for the project ended in 2015.  Work continues to report all the findings and make results available to stakeholders.