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Wetlands are continental or coastal, they represent all natural environments where the presence of water is the main characteristic, regardless of the degree of salinity. Wetlands have been degraded and drained in order to build buildings or to avoid diseases. However, these environments play a role in regulating essential water flows in natural ecosystems. Thanks to the work of scientists, the perception of wetlands has changed a lot and there is a highlight on their multiple functions in natural ecosystems: flood regulation, water purification, protection of the coastline …

Within DATA TERRA, projects have been carried out to improve our knowledge of wetlands by the THEIA and ODATIS clusters which bring together all the data on continental and oceanic surfaces. Here are two illustrations of current research:

  • Wetlands are areas with biodiversity and fragile balances. The arbocarto software developed by CIRAD researchers in the THEIA cluster makes it possible to anticipate the presence of mosquitoes and optimize treatments for health.

Montpellier town, France – Spatial distribution of the Aedes albopictus mosquito vector of dengue fever, the Zika virus and Chikungunya © Theia

  • Coastal wetlands are also vulnerable to sea level rise. Satellite and in-situ data are complementary for understanding climate change and adapting to its risks and effects. In January 2021, ODATIS took part in the Littoscope project which aimed to create a demonstrator of the hazards and risks of marine flooding.

Assessment of the affected population and costs for a rise in sea level in 2070, according to the most pessimistic IPCC scenario without storms. © Littoscope

  • The Scientific Expertise Center Infectious Diseases Risks of the THEIA cluster offers software for simulating the population dynamics of Aedes albopictus  and  Aedes aegypti mosquitoes .
  • The Scientific Expertise Center Surface Moisture of the THEIA cluster brings together teams from Cesbio ,  UMR Ispa ,  IGE  and  ECMWF  who develop a series of products for estimating soil surface moisture, accompanied by indicators (drought , flood, rain estimator) over the whole world, at a frequency of 2 times every 3 days.
  • The  DINAMIS catalogue  , a French system of very high spatial resolution images, disseminates activated satellite observations of the area and their comparison with archive images makes it possible to assess the damage to the coasts.