Wetlands Ecology and Management

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 963–976 | Cite as

Mapping and spatial characterization of Argentine High Andean peatbogs

  • Andrea E. IzquierdoEmail author
  • Javier Foguet
  • H. Ricardo Grau
Original Paper


Peatbogs are the most productive and biodiversity rich ecosystems of high dry Puna region, and provide essential ecosystems services to local inhabitants. Despite their ecological and economic importance, the geographic patterns and distribution of peatbogs as well the dynamic of this system are barely known. In this work we (1) identified and mapped subtropical Argentine High Andean peatbogs based in a supervised classification of Landsat images, and a posteriori spatial processing to define functional units; (2) used such classification to characterize the whole Argentina Puna region (14.3 million hectares) in terms of their geographic patterns of peatbogs; and (3) characterized the region’s sub-watersheds according to their peatbogs density and geographic characteristics. The post-process map reports a total area of peatbogs of 94427.55 ha (0.66 % of total study area) with 10,428 polygons. The majority of peatbogs are small or median (i.e., 21.8 % of total area included <10 ha, while 24.5 % of total area are peatbogs from 10 to 50 ha), but only two peatbogs with >10,000 ha represent 18 % of total area. Peatbogs density is spatially heterogeneous, with much higher density in the north and central east of the study area. Sub-watershed can be grouped into six main groups according to the percentage of peatbogs cover, mean size of peatbogs and altitude. The combination of basic information, such as map of peatbogs cover with spatial patterns characterization, is a priority input for the conservation planning of this extensive and valuable ecosystem, and to ongoing land use planning initiatives.


Peatbogs High Andean wetlands GIS Landscape planning Puna 



This study was funded by CONICET and Grants from PICT2012-1565 FONCYT, PIUNT, FOCA-Galicia and Booster Rufford Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea E. Izquierdo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Javier Foguet
    • 2
  • H. Ricardo Grau
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.CONICETBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Instituto de Ecología Regional-UNTSan Miguel de TucumánArgentina

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