Estonian Wetlands and the Water Framework Directive

  • Elve LodeEmail author
  • Marko Vainu
  • M. Ilomets
  • L. Truus
  • Raimo Pajula
  • U. Ratas
  • R. Rivis
  • G. Kapanen
Part of the Springer Water book series (SPWA)


This chapter presents the delineation approach and results of status assessment of Estonian wetlands for implementation of the objectives of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Determination of WFD important wetlands based on selection and visualisation of wetlands soils from Estonian electronic soil map (data of Estonian Land Board), and corresponding drainage basin delineation, both for wetlands and water bodies by using the ArcMap10.2.2 software. There are 47 WFD important wetlands associated with the flowing water bodies covering more than 27,800 ha, and 19 wetlands associated with the standing water bodies covering 42,000 ha. The number of WFD important floodplain wetlands is 46 covering 15,000 ha, 24 spring mires on 390 ha and 107 coastal wetlands on 265 ha. Due to the heterogeneous landscape structure of Estonian wetlands inside the “zero” wetland contour line, the variability of both water quantity and quality of wetlands is relatively large. Therefore, without field studies of WFD important wetlands, it is impossible to perform a functional classification of the determined WFD important wetlands, i.e., their effect on nutrient retention or leaching, or effect on hydrological regime of connected with them water bodies.


Surface water body Peatland Floodplain wetland Spring mire Coastal wetland 



The project titled “Märgalade seisundi hindamine ja keskkonnaeesmärkide määramine” (Assessment of wetland status and setting of environmental objectives) was financed by Estonian Ministry of Environment in 2011–2012. We would like to acknowledge the Estonian Land Board for providing high-resolution LiDAR data and DEM models and Estonian Environment Agency for the EELIS database. The authors are grateful to Helena Tammik for helping with GIS analysis and map compilations related to the flowing water bodies, and prof. Lars Lundin for the comments and suggestions during chapter compilation.

The current chapter is compiled during the GroundEco, EstLat62 project “Joint management of groundwater-dependent ecosystems in transboundary Gauja-Koiva river basin” of Interreg Estonia-Latvia cooperation programme, funded by ERDF.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elve Lode
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marko Vainu
    • 1
  • M. Ilomets
    • 1
  • L. Truus
    • 1
  • Raimo Pajula
    • 1
  • U. Ratas
    • 1
  • R. Rivis
    • 1
  • G. Kapanen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Natural Sciences and HealthInstitute of Ecology, Tallinn UniversityTallinnEstonia

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