Land Use Trends Analysis Using SPOT 5 Images and Its Effect on the Landscape of Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

  • Mohd Hasmadi IsmailEmail author
  • Che Ku Akmar Che Ku Othman
  • Ismail Adnan Abd Malek
  • Saiful Arif Abdullah
Part of the Ecological Research Monographs book series (ECOLOGICAL)


A large part of the steep mountain land in Peninsular Malaysia is covered by forests. Cameron Highlands is a mountainous region with a climate favorable to the cultivation of tea, subtropical vegetables, and flowers. Rapid economic growth and land use practices, however, have altered the environmental landscape of the area. Thus, this study was carried out to examine the rate of loss and pattern of fragmentation of the tropical mountain forests in Cameron Highlands. Temporal remotely sensed data (SPOT 5 images) of the years 2000, 2005, and 2010 were processed to develop a land use map of each year, which then analyzed their landscape fragmentation using GIS. Results showed that forest fragmentation occurred particularly in the period between 2005 and 2010. In 10 years the Cameron Highlands had lost about 2 % of its forested areas, mainly from agricultural activities. This study concludes that Cameron Highlands needs conservation efforts that should be focused on the management of the natural system and restoration project, and on management of the external influences, particularly on sustainable forest exploitation in the highland.


Remote sensing Highland landscape Land use/land cover change Fragmentation 



We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia through Fundamental Research Grant Scheme FRGS-5523434 and Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency for providing satellite data (SPOT 5).


  1. Aminuddin BY, Ghulam MH, Wan Abdullah WY (2005) Sustainability of current agricultural practices in the Cameron highlands, Malaysia: water, air, and soil pollution. Focus 5:89–101Google Scholar
  2. Apan AA, Peterson JA (1998) Probing tropical deforestation: the use of GIS and statistical analysis of georeferenced data. Appl Geogr 18:137–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bruijnzeel LA (2001) Hydrology of tropical montane cloud forests: a reassessment. Land Use Water Resour Res 1:1–18Google Scholar
  4. Che Ku Akmar CKO, Mohd Hasmadi I (2010) Land use in Cameron highlands: analysis of its changes from space. In: Proceedings of the world engineering congress: geometrics and geographical information science, Grand Margherita Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, 2–5 Aug 2010, pp 190–195Google Scholar
  5. Cohen WB, Goward SN (2004) Landsat’s role in ecological applications of remote sensing. BioScience 54(6):535–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Congalton RG (1991) A review of assessing the accuracy of classifications of remotely sensed data. Remote Sens Environ 37:35–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eric FL (1999) Monitoring forest degradation in tropical regions by remote sensing: some methodological issues. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 8:191–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Foody GM (2003) Remote sensing of tropical forest environments: towards the monitoring of environmental resources for sustainable development. Int J Remote Sens 24(20):4035–4046CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Forman RT (1995) Land mosaics: the ecology of landscapes and regions. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  10. Griffiths GS, Mather PM (2000) Remote sensing and landscape ecology: landscape patterns and landscape change. Int J Remote Sens 21:2537–2539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gustafson EJ (1998) Quantifying landscape spatial pattern: what is the state of the art? Ecosystems 1:143–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hay GJ, Dubé P, Bouchard A, Marceau DJ (2002) A scale-space primer for exploring and quantifying complex landscapes. Ecol Model 153(1-2):27–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. He HS, DeZonia BE, Mladenoff DJ (2000) An aggregation index (AI) to quantify spatial patterns of landscapes. Landsc Ecol 15(7):591–601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Herzog F, Lausch A, Muller E, Thulke HH, Steinhardt U, Lehmann S (2001) Landscape metrics for assessment of landscape destruction and rehabilitation. Environ Manag 27:91–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jamilah O, Ahmad MA, Manohar M, Zaliah S (2006) Consideration of visual aesthetics quality for landscape management decisions. In: Proceedings of the 2nd seminar on the environmental, centre for built environment, Kulliyyah of architecture and environmental design, IIUM, pp 206–301Google Scholar
  16. Jensen JR (1986) Introductory digital image processing: a remote sensing perspective. Prentice Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  17. Kerr JT, Southwood TRE, Cihlar J (2001) Remotely sensed habitat diversity predicts butterfly species richness and community similarity in Canada. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98:11365–11370PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kucukmehmetoglu M, Geymen A (2008) Measuring the spatial impacts of urbanization on the surface water resource basins in Istanbul via remote sensing. Environ Monit Assess 142:153–169PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. McGarigal K, Marks B (1995) FRAGSTATS: spatial pattern analysis program for quantifying landscape structure, vol 2.0. General technical report PNW-GTR-351. Forest Science Lab, Oregon State University, Corvallis, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research StationGoogle Scholar
  20. McGarigal K, Cushman SA, Neel MC, Ene E (2002) FRAGSTATS: spatial pattern analysis program for categorical maps. Computer software program produced by the authors at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. html. Accessed 7 July 2009
  21. Mohd Hasmadi I, Kamaruzaman J (2008) Satellite data classification accuracy assessment based from reference dataset. Int J Comput Inf Sci Eng 2(2):96–102Google Scholar
  22. Nagendra H, Southworth J, Tucker C (2003) Accessibility as a determinant of landscape transformation in Western Honduras: linking pattern and process. Landsc Ecol 18:141–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Patil GP, Brooks RP, Myers WL, Rapport DJ, Taillie C (2001) Ecosystem health and its measurement at landscape scale: toward the next generation of quantitative assessments. Ecosyst Health 7:307–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Roy PS, Joshi PK (2002) Forest cover assessment in North-East India–the potential of temporal wide swath satellite sensor data. Int J Remote Sens 23:4881–4896CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sader SA, Ahl D, Wen-Shi L (1995) Accuracy of Landsat TM and GIS rule-based methods for forest wetland classification in Maine. Remote Sens Environ 53:133–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Skole D, Justice C, Townshend J, Janetos A (1997) A land cover change monitoring program: strategy for an international effort. Mitig Adapt Strat GL 2:157–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stehman SV (1996) Estimation of kappa coefficient and its variance using stratified random sampling. Photogramm Eng Remote Sensing 26:401–407Google Scholar
  28. Turner MG (1989) Landscape ecology: the effect of pattern on process. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 20:171–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Turner MG, Gardner RH, O’Neill RV (2001) Landscape ecology in theory and practice: pattern and process. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  30. Turner W, Spector S, Gardiner N, Fladeland M, Sterling E, Steininger M (2003) Remote sensing for biodiversity science and conservation. Trends Ecol Evol 18(6):306–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Walsh SJ, Butler DR, Malanson GP (1998) An overview of scale, pattern, process relationships in geomorphology: a remote sensing and GIS perspective. Geomorphology 21(3-4):183–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Watson N, Wilcock D (2001) Pre-classification as an aid to the improvement of thematic and spatial accuracy in land cover maps derived from satellite imagery. Remote Sens Environ 75(2):267–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zha Y, Goa J, Ni S (2003) Use of normalized difference built-up index in automatically mapping urban areas from TM imagery. Int J Remote Sens 24(3):583–594CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohd Hasmadi Ismail
    • 1
    Email author
  • Che Ku Akmar Che Ku Othman
    • 1
  • Ismail Adnan Abd Malek
    • 1
  • Saiful Arif Abdullah
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of ForestryUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  2. 2.Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI)Universiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia

Personalised recommendations