Wetlands, including peatlands, supply crucial ecosystem services such as water purification, carbon sequestration and regulation of hydrological and biogeochemical cycles. Peatlands are especially important as carbon sinks and stores because of the incomplete decomposition of vegetation within the peat. Good knowledge of individual wetlands exists locally, but information on how different wetland systems interact with their surroundings is lacking. In this study, the ability to use a depression-based digital elevation model (DEM) method to inventory wetlands in northern landscapes and assess their hydrological connectivity was investigated. The method consisted of three steps: (1) identification and mapping of wetlands, (2) identification of threshold values of minimum wetland size and depth, and (3) delineation of a defined coherent area of multiple wetlands with hydrological connectivity, called wetlandscape. The results showed that 64% of identified wetlands corresponded with an existing wetland map in the study area, but only 10% of the wetlands in the existing map were identified, with the F1 score being 17%. Therefore, the methodology cannot independently map wetlands and future research should be conducted in which additional data sources and mapping techniques are integrated. However, wetland connectivity could be mapped with the depression-based DEM methodology by utilising information on upstream and downstream wetland depressions, catchment boundaries and drainage flow paths. Knowledge about wetland connectivity is crucial for understanding how physical, biological and chemical materials are transported and distributed in the landscape, and thus also for resilience, management and protection of wetlandscapes.
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