School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Engineering soils for climate change

Engineering soils for climate change

Soils are key to the resolution of climate change – because all atmospheric CO2 passes through the coupled plant-soil system in just seven years.

Project Leader: Professor David Manning
Sponsors: EPSRC, NERC
Partners: See websites listed
Start/end dates: Ongoing

Project Details

This overarching project brings together a range of contributing projects. Some relate to the properties of urban soils and how these can be engineered to promote enhanced carbon capture, for example through the creation of ‘Carbon Capture Gardens’. Some address carbonation of ‘wastes’ derived from steel and cement manufacture, while others address key issues relating to the ability of soils to support crops through provision of nutrients, especially K. The work is supported by EPSRC and NERC and by independent funding of research studentships.


Schmidt. M. W. I., Torn, M. S., Abiven, S., Dittmar, T., Guggenberger, G., Janssens, I. A., Kleber, M., Kögel-Knabner, I., Lehmann, J., Manning, D. A. C., Nannipieri, P., Rasse, D. P, Weiner, S. and Trumbore, S. E. (2011) Persistence of soil organic matter as an ecosystem property. Nature 478, 49-56.

Renforth, P., Washbourne, C.-L., Taylder, J., Manning, D.A.C. (2011) Silicate production and availability for mineral carbonation, Environmental Science and Technology, 45 (6), pp 2035–2041; DOI: 10.1021/es103241w

Renforth, P., Edmondson J., Leake J.R., Gaston K.J., Manning, D. A. C. (2011) Designing a carbon capture function into urban soils, Proceedings of the ICE: Urban Design and Planning, 164 (2), 121-128

Manning, D. A. C. (2010) Mineral sources of potassium for plant nutrition: a review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 30, 281-294, doi 10.1051/agro/2009023

Academic Staff

  • Professor Margaret Bell
  • Dr Annie Borland 
  • Dr Stephanie Glendinning
  • Professor David Manning
  • Dr Pete Manning 


  • Dr Paul Hughes
  • Dr Elisa Lopez-Capel