Quantifying wetness variability in aapa mires with Sentinel-2: towards improved monitoring of an EU priority habitat. Jussila, T., Heikkinen, R. K., Anttila, S., Aapala, K., Kervinen, M., Aalto, J., & Vihervaara, P. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, John Wiley and Sons Inc, 2023. Cited by: 0; All Open Access, Gold Open Access
Quantifying wetness variability in aapa mires with Sentinel-2: towards improved monitoring of an EU priority habitat [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Aapa mires are waterlogged northern peatland ecosystems characterized by a patterned surface structure where water-filled depressions (‘flarks’) alternate with drier hummock strings. As one of the EU Habitat Directive priority habitats, aapa mires are important for biodiversity and carbon cycling, harbouring several red-listed species and supporting unique species communities. Due to their sensitivity to hydrological disturbances, reliable, up-to-date and systematic information on the hydrological condition and responses of mires is crucial and required for multiple purposes ranging from carbon exchange modelling to EU Habitats Directive reporting and conservation and ecosystem restoration planning. Here, we demonstrate the usability of Sentinel-2 satellite data in a semi-automatic cloud-based approach to retrieve large-scale information on aapa mire hydrological variability. Two satellite-derived metrics, soil moisture index and the extent of water-saturated surfaces based on pixel-wise classification, are used to quantify monthly and interannual wetness variation between 2017 and 2020 across Natura 2000 aapa mires in Finland, including responses to the extreme drought of 2018. The results revealed high temporal variability in wetness, particularly in the southern parts of the aapa mire zone and generally in the late summer months interannually. Observations from the drought summer showed that one third of usually year-round wet flark surfaces may be exposed to drying during climatic extremes. Responses varied between sites and regions, implicating the significance of environmental factors for drought resistance: some sites maintained high levels of moisture, whereas others lost wet surfaces completely. Our study provides the first comprehensive national-level representation of seasonal and interannual wetness variability and drought-sensitivity of pristine aapa mire sites. The approach and methods used here can be directly upscaled outside protected areas and to other EU countries. Thus, they provide a means for harmonized, systematic large-scale monitoring of this priority habitat, as well as valuable information for other applications supporting peatland conservation and research. © 2023 The Authors. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Zoological Society of London.
@ARTICLE{Jussila2023,
	author = {Jussila, Tytti and Heikkinen, Risto K. and Anttila, Saku and Aapala, Kaisu and Kervinen, Mikko and Aalto, Juha and Vihervaara, Petteri},
	title = {Quantifying wetness variability in aapa mires with Sentinel-2: towards improved monitoring of an EU priority habitat},
	year = {2023},
	journal = {Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation},
	doi = {10.1002/rse2.363},
	url = {https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85168386865&doi=10.1002%2frse2.363&partnerID=40&md5=04b2256c1eeb3803b01703c9f2acd79c},
	affiliations = {Finnish Environment Institute, Latokartanonkaari 11, Helsinki, FI-00790, Finland; Finnish Meteorological Institute, Weather and Climate Change Impact Research, P.O. Box 503, Helsinki, FI-00101, Finland; Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2a, Helsinki, 00014, Finland},
	abstract = {Aapa mires are waterlogged northern peatland ecosystems characterized by a patterned surface structure where water-filled depressions (‘flarks’) alternate with drier hummock strings. As one of the EU Habitat Directive priority habitats, aapa mires are important for biodiversity and carbon cycling, harbouring several red-listed species and supporting unique species communities. Due to their sensitivity to hydrological disturbances, reliable, up-to-date and systematic information on the hydrological condition and responses of mires is crucial and required for multiple purposes ranging from carbon exchange modelling to EU Habitats Directive reporting and conservation and ecosystem restoration planning. Here, we demonstrate the usability of Sentinel-2 satellite data in a semi-automatic cloud-based approach to retrieve large-scale information on aapa mire hydrological variability. Two satellite-derived metrics, soil moisture index and the extent of water-saturated surfaces based on pixel-wise classification, are used to quantify monthly and interannual wetness variation between 2017 and 2020 across Natura 2000 aapa mires in Finland, including responses to the extreme drought of 2018. The results revealed high temporal variability in wetness, particularly in the southern parts of the aapa mire zone and generally in the late summer months interannually. Observations from the drought summer showed that one third of usually year-round wet flark surfaces may be exposed to drying during climatic extremes. Responses varied between sites and regions, implicating the significance of environmental factors for drought resistance: some sites maintained high levels of moisture, whereas others lost wet surfaces completely. Our study provides the first comprehensive national-level representation of seasonal and interannual wetness variability and drought-sensitivity of pristine aapa mire sites. The approach and methods used here can be directly upscaled outside protected areas and to other EU countries. Thus, they provide a means for harmonized, systematic large-scale monitoring of this priority habitat, as well as valuable information for other applications supporting peatland conservation and research. © 2023 The Authors. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Zoological Society of London.},
	author_keywords = {Boreal fen; drought impacts; ecosystem monitoring; image classification; satellite remote sensing; surface moisture},
	correspondence_address = {T. Jussila; Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, Latokartanonkaari 11, FI-00790, Finland; email: tytti.jussila@syke.fi},
	publisher = {John Wiley and Sons Inc},
	issn = {20563485},
	language = {English},
	abbrev_source_title = {Remote Sens. Ecol. Conserv.},
	type = {Article},
	publication_stage = {Article in press},
	source = {Scopus},
	note = {Cited by: 0; All Open Access, Gold Open Access}
}

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