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Risk Assessment of Alien Azolla filiculoides Lam in Anzali Lagoon Using Remote Sensing Imagery

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Long-term evaluation of the population change trend of different plant species in lagoons is of great importance in preserving the environment. Lagoons are the fundamental habitats for aquatic biodiversity conservation, which has at least one relatively narrow connection to the sea. In this research, Landsat time-series data are used to investigate the changes in Azolla (or green devil) expansion, and its effective factors over 30 years from the arrival of this aquatic fern from 1988 to 2018 in the International Lagoon of Anzali in the North of Iran using the spectral angular mapper (SAM) method and related field data. The results indicated that (1) the changes of Azolla plant expansion have a direct correlation with the volume of lagoon water and rainfall and an inverse relation with the region temperature, (2) The spread of Azolla has not been steady over three decades, increasing in some years and decreasing in others, (3) The high Azolla surface cover has caused environmental hazards in the lagoon and has reduced the value in the eastern, southwestern, and partly central parts of the area. Therefore, in order to maintain balance in the natural ecosystem of Anzali Lagoon, fundamental decisions must be made for determining the range and shelter of the lagoon and controlling the outflow of water resources.

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Correspondence to Kamran Moravej or Alireza Sharifi.

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Marzvan, S., Moravej, K., Felegari, S. et al. Risk Assessment of Alien Azolla filiculoides Lam in Anzali Lagoon Using Remote Sensing Imagery. J Indian Soc Remote Sens 49, 1801–1809 (2021).

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