Combining Moderate and High Resolution of Satellite Images for Characterizing Suitable Habitat for Vegetation and Wildlife

Sheriza Mohd Razali(1*), Zaiton Samdin(2), Marryanna Lion(3)

(1) Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor
(2) Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor; School of Business and Economics, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor
(3) Forest Research Institute Malaysia, 52109 Kepong, Selangor
(*) Corresponding Author


Combining different resolution of remote sensing satellites becomes a unique approach for vegetation and wildlife habitat assessment study. Remote sensing technology can reach land and water on the Earth's surface, and it can interpret signals from spectral responses. When these techniques are combined with Geographical Information Systems (GIS), land can be monitored in a variety of ways. Meanwhile, changes in land use led to changes in vegetation on the ground, with natural vegetation being removed from natural forests, leaving a degraded forest. This issue was not investigated for assessing habitat suitability for important plantations such as Eucalyptus plantation. Therefore, the study employed remote sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS) to model suitability of habitat to live and to survive in the Eucalyptus plantation. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) derived from a mathematical equation can demonstrate intensity of greenness of green vegetation in particular area and time, and availability of soil moisture, respectively, is very suitable to model the greenness of the area. WorldView-2 satellite image was pre-proceed, proceed, and classified to produce land use indicator in Sabah Softwoods Berhad plantation majoring Eucalyptus spp. tree planted in Tawau, Sabah. Sentinel and Landsat 8 image were used for vegetation and water stress indicator were downloaded from Land Viewer application. Net Primary Productivity (NPP) at monthly scale was also calculated and ranked the productivity for the suitability mapping. Climatic condition based on monthly precipitation and seasonality derived from ASEAN Specialized Meteorological Centre (ASMC) was employed for ranking its suitability value. In this study, natural forest and oil palm plantation is tested to developed suitability map for vegetation and wildlife habitat to live with. All indicators were ranked 10 to 40 presenting benefit and usefulness of the indicator to vegetation and wildlife in the study area. Then, final classification was made from accumulation of those indicators into 0 to 200 (Not suitable to Highly suitable). The results showed 59.9% of the area classified as moderately suitable, 36.9% highly suitable, 3.2% least suitable and no area was classified as not suitable. This type of study assisted forest managers and policymakers for better managing of their forests for better life of trees and wildlife under their management. The methodology adapted in the study is ecologically sounded and economically viable to be modified and complied in Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in Malaysia and other tropical forest regions.



High resolution satellite image; wildlife habitat; NDVI

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