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Wetlands are important providers of ecosystem services and key regulators of climate change. They positively contribute to global warming through their greenhouse gas emissions, and negatively through the accumulation of organic material in histosols, particularly in peatlands.

Our understanding of wetlands’ services is currently constrained by limited knowledge on their distribution, extent, volume, inter-annual flood variability, and disturbance levels. We present an expert system approach to estimate wetland and peatland areas, depths and volumes, which relies on three biophysical indices related to wetland and peat formation:

1. Long-term water supply exceeding atmospheric water demand;
2. annually or seasonally water-logged soils;
3. geomorphological position where water is supplied and retained.

This dataset is the second version, with significant improvements compared to previous versions. It shows the distribution of wetlands, peatlands, and peat depth that covers the tropics and sub tropics (40° N to 60° S; 180° E to -180° W), excluding small islands. It was mapped in 231 meters spatial resolution.

The dataset can be viewed in this interactive map: http://www.cifor.org/global-wetlands.

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