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Detecting and Quantifying a Massive Invasion of Floating Aquatic Plants in the Río de la Plata Turbid Waters Using High Spatial Resolution Ocean Color Imagery

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Remote Sensing

MDPI AG

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      Abstract

      The massive development of floating plants in floodplain lakes and wetlands in the upper Middle Paraná river in the La Plata basin is environmentally and socioeconomically important. Every year aquatic plant detachments drift downstream arriving in small amounts to the Río de la Plata, but huge temporary invasions have been observed every 10 or 15 years associated to massive floods. From late December 2015, heavy rains driven by a strong El Niño increased river levels, provoking a large temporary invasion of aquatic plants from January to May 2016. This event caused significant disruption of human activities via clogging of drinking water intakes in the estuary, blocking of ports and marinas and introducing dangerous animals from faraway wetlands into the city. In this study, we developed a scheme to map floating vegetation in turbid waters using high-resolution imagery, like Sentinel-2/SMI (MultiSpectral Imager), Landsat-8/OLI (Operational Land Imager), and Aqua/MODIS (MODerate resolution Imager Spectroradiometer)-250 m. A combination of the Floating Algal Index (that make use of the strong signal in the NIR part of the spectrum), plus conditions set on the RED band (to avoid misclassifying highly turbid waters) and on the CIE La*b* color space coordinates (to confirm the visually “green” pixels as floating vegetation) were used. A time-series of multisensor high resolution imagery was analyzed to study the temporal variability, covered area and distribution of the unusual floating macroalgae invasion that started in January 2016 in the Río de la Plata estuary.

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      Accelerating invasion rate in a highly invaded estuary

      Biological invasions are a major global environmental and economic problem. Analysis of the San Francisco Bay and Delta ecosystem revealed a large number of exotic species that dominate many habitats in terms of number of species, number of individuals and biomass, and a high and accelerating rate of invasion. These factors suggest that this may be the most invaded estuary in the world. Possible causes include a large number and variety of transport vectors, a depauperate native biota, and extensive natural and anthropogenic disturbance.
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        Refractive indices of water and ice in the 065- to 25-μm spectral range

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          Interannual and Decadal Cycles in River Flows of Southeastern South America

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            Remote Sensing
            Remote Sensing
            MDPI AG
            2072-4292
            July 2018
            July 19 2018
            : 10
            : 7
            : 1140
            10.3390/rs10071140
            © 2018

            https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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            Self URI (article page): http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/10/7/1140

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