Anthropogenic influences on deforestation of a peat swamp forest in Northern Borneo using remote sensing and GIS

Keywords: land cover change, driver of change, forest fire, overlay analysis, Wetland Sabah, mapping fire risk


Aim of study: To study the anthropogenic factors that influence the fire occurrences in a peat swamp forest (PSF) in the northern part of Borneo Island.

Area of study: Klias Peninsula, Sabah Borneo Island, Malaysia.

Material and methods: Supervised classification using the maximum likelihood algorithm of multitemporal satellite imageries from the mid-80s to the early 20s was used to quantify the wetland vegetation change on Klias Peninsula. GIS-based buffering analysis was made to generate three buffer zones with distances of 1000 m, 2000 m, and 3000 m based on each of three anthropogenic factors (settlement, agriculture, and road) that influence the fire events.

Main results: The results showed that PSF, barren land, and grassland have significantly changed between 1991 and 2013. PSF plummeted by about 70% during the 19-year period. Agriculture exhibited the most significant anthropogenic factor that contributes to the deforestation of the PSF in this study area with the distance of 1001-2000 m in 1998 fire event and 0-1000 m in 2003. Additionally, the distance to settlement played an increasingly important role in the fire affected areas, as shown by the increase of weightages from 0.26 to 0.35.

Research highlights: Our results indicate that agriculture is the most influential anthropogenic factor associated with the fire-affected areas. The distance to settlement played an increasingly important role in the fire affected areas and contributes to the deforestation of the PSF in these study areas.


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How to Cite
Kamlun, K. U., & Phua, M.-H. (2024). Anthropogenic influences on deforestation of a peat swamp forest in Northern Borneo using remote sensing and GIS. Forest Systems, 33(1), eSC02.
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