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Using historical archives and landsat imagery to explore changes in the mangrove cover of Peninsular Malaysia between 1853 and 2018
Gopalakrishnan, L.; Satyanarayana, B.; Chen, D.; Wolswijk, G.; Amir, A. A.; Vandegehuchte, M.; Muslim, A.M.; Koedam, N.; Dahdouh-Guebas, F. (2021). Using historical archives and landsat imagery to explore changes in the mangrove cover of Peninsular Malaysia between 1853 and 2018. Remote Sens. 13(17): 3403. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rs13173403
In: Remote Sensing. MDPI: Basel. ISSN 2072-4292; e-ISSN 2072-4292
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee: Open access 367625 [ download pdf ]

Author keywords
    historical records; mangrove cover; remote sensing; archives; Peninsular Malaysia; Landsat

Authors  Top 
  • Gopalakrishnan, L.
  • Satyanarayana, B.
  • Chen, D.
  • Wolswijk, G.
  • Amir, A. A.
  • Vandegehuchte, M.
  • Muslim, A.M.
  • Koedam, N.
  • Dahdouh-Guebas, F.

Abstract
    Archive records such as maps, journals, books, sketches, cadastre and notarial documents have been underutilised in describing past and present changes in ecological systems, such as mangrove forests. Historical records can be invaluable information sources for baseline establishment, to undertake long-term study on mangrove dynamics and enhance the historical land cover and land-use dynamics of a country. In this study, we explore these untapped information reservoirs, used complementarily with remote sensing techniques, to explain the dynamics of the mangrove systems in Peninsular Malaysia. The archives in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Malaysia and Singapore were explored and mined for related information on the mangrove systems in PeninsularMalaysia from past centuries. Most historical records found in this study were used to validate the mangrove presence in Peninsular Malaysia since 1853 while two records from 1944 and 1954 were used to quantify the mangrove cover extent. A significant finding of this study was the oldest record found in 1853 that attested to the presence of a mangrove system on the mainland Penang of Peninsular Malaysia which was not identified again as such in records post-1853. Remote sensingdata, specifically Landsat images, were used to determine the mangrove extent in Peninsular Malaysia for the years 1988, 1992, 2002, 2012 and 2018. By complementing the historical records with remote sensing information, we were able to validate the mangrove presence in Peninsular Malaysia since 1853 and determine the gain/loss of mangrove systems over the last 74 years. Peninsular Malaysia has lost over 400 km2 of mangrove forests, equivalent to 31% of its original extent between 1944 and 2018. This is a significant loss for Peninsular Malaysia which has less than 1% mangrove cover of its total land area presently.

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