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Landuse changes around Pasoh Forest Reserve in Peninsular Malaysia.
ADACHI, NAOKI1,2, MANOKARAN, N1, ABDUL RAHIM, NIK1, OKUDA, TOSHINORI3, 1 2 3
ABSTRACT- Intensive studies have been carried out by many researchers in Pasoh Forest Reserve (2,450 ha), a lowland dipterocarp forest, in Peninsular Malaysia since the early 1970s. At that time the Forest Reserve was still surrounded by other forest stands, however, extensive development has taken place in which forests were converted to rubber or oil palm plantations. The Reserve is now like an isolated island surrounded by plantations and its ecosystem might have been greatly affected by this fragmentation. We have employed Landsat MSS (1979) and TM (1988, 1996) images to detect changes of landuse in Pasoh Forest Reserve and its vicinity (ca. 60 x 60 km2) and analyzed relationships between changing patterns and topography. Forest which occupied 47.7% of the whole study area in 1979 decreased greatly to 31.6% by 1988, and further decreased to 29.4% by 1996. Rubber plantations which accounted for 26.7% in 1979 increased slightly to 34.4% in 1988. Oil palm plantations represented 14.3% in 1979, but increased steadily to 20.6% in 1996. Conversion of forests to plantations mostly took place in low and less steep areas, while undulatory areas remained undisturbed. Some of the forest stands were selectively logged during this period, but the detection was not easy. We will further continue our study to develop methods to discriminate between such secondary forests and primary forests and analyze patterns in which logging takes place.
KEY WORDS: tropical forest, landuse change, Malaysia, remote sensing