27 Mar 2023
 | 27 Mar 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Mapping of peatlands in the forested landscape of Sweden using LiDAR-based terrain indices

Lukas Rimondini, Thomas Gumbricht, Anders Ahlström, and Gustaf Hugelius

Abstract. Globally, northern peatlands are major carbon deposits with important implications for the climate system. It is therefore crucial to understand their spatial occurrence, especially in the context of peatland degradation by land cover and climate change. This study was aimed at mapping peatlands in the forested landscape of Sweden by modelling soil data against LiDAR-based terrain indices. Machine learning methods were used to produce nation-wide raster maps at 10 m spatial resolution indicating presence-or-not of peatlands. Four different definitions of peatlands were examined: 30, 40, 50 and 100 cm thickness of the organic horizon. Depending on peatland definition, testing with a hold-out dataset indicated Accuracy of 0.89–0.91 and Matthew’s correlation coefficient of 0.79–0.81. The final maps showed a national forest peatland extent of 60,726–72,604 km2, estimates which are in range with previous studies employing traditional soil maps. In conclusion, these results emphasize the possibilities of mapping boreal peatlands with LiDAR-based terrain indices. The final peatland maps are publicly available and may be employed for spatial planning, estimating carbon stocks and evaluate climate change mitigation strategies.

Lukas Rimondini et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2023-77', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 May 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Lukas Rimondini, 29 May 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2023-77', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 May 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Lukas Rimondini, 29 May 2023

Lukas Rimondini et al.

Data sets

Maps of peatlands in the forested landscape of Sweden Lukas Rimondini, Gustaf Hugelius, Thomas Gumbricht, and Anders Ahlström

Lukas Rimondini et al.


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Short summary
Peatlands have historically sequestrated large amounts of carbon and contributed to atmospheric cooling. However, human activities and climate change may instead turn them to considerable carbon emitters. In this study, we produced high-quality maps showing the extent of peatlands in the forests of Sweden, one of the most peatland-dense countries in the world. The maps are publicly available and may be used to support work promoting sustainable peatland management and combat their degradation.