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Natural Habitats of Sabah by Flemming T. Hansen

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Natural Habitats of Sabah by Flemming T. Hansen

  1. 1. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 1 of 34 Natural Habitats of Sabah Flemming T. Hansen1 ICZM Unit January 1999 1 Mr. Flemming Thorbjørn Hansen holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Biology and Geography and is an advanced user of GIS, databases, organisation of environmental data, systematical analysis and description of ecological systems (primarily aquatic), effects of environmental pollutants and nutrient enrichment on single organisms and ecological systems, analysis of non-point pollution from rural and urban areas, and recreative and aestetic analysis related to environmental management. He is a full time employee in the Department of Environmental Informatics at VKI in Denmark. Mr. Flemming Thorbjørn Hansen has been attached to the ICZM Project in Sabah for a period of three months starting in mid October 1998 financed by DANCED.
  2. 2. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 2 of 34 1 Introduction The importance of the classification and mapping of natural habitats of Sabah has been emphasized in the Sabah Coastal Zone Profile 1998. The knowledge of the condition and distribution of natural habitats are necessary if the objective is to ensure an environmental sustainable development. This note will present the recent progress in the classification and mapping of natural habitats in Sabah. It will provide an overview of existing data, their quality and their use in the mapping of natural habitats. A detailed technical description on how to produce the final habitat map from existing data is given in Appendix 1 (page 19). The work has been based on a classification system proposed in the Sabah Coastal Zone Profile 1998. However several adjustments and proposals will be considered as a result of inputs and ideas derived from the contributing departments and the ICZM unit. Comments on the present note from Mr. Christopher Pastakia are given in Appendix 2 page 27). The conclusion up till now is that a reasonable amount of data exists, much of which is of considerable quality, that enables the mapping of a large variety of natural habitats in whole Sabah, and particular the coastal zone. However some issues remain especially regarding the data availability and data sharing. No common agreement between departments has been established. Thus, it is an urgent need that these difficulties will be solved since the successfulness of this scope relies on the contribution from all relevant departments. Despite the scope of ICZM lies within the Coastal Zone of Sabah as defined by Task Force 1, this work has focused on the entire state of Sabah. This has been done since there is no reason to exclude data that already exist, and since the applicability of a habitat map exceeds the coastal zone. However, the first attempt to produce a ’complete’ habitat map should be addressed to the district of Sandakan which has been chosen as a ’pilot’area within the work of taskforce 5. Thus, apart from the existing data described here, data that needs to be acquired should focus primarily on the Sandakan district. Table 1 presents the classification system proposed in the Sabah Coastal Zone Profile 1998, including 6 major habitat “systems”, each divided into a number of classes and sub-classes. Appendix 3 (page 30) and Appendix 4 (page 32) present the definitions, as presented in the data dictionary, related to the major habitat “systems” and classes respectively, as described in table 1. Since the species diversity and composition highly depends on the condition due to human and/or natural disturbance, a condition index (1-3) is proposed to be applied to each of the habitat classes or sub-classes, where ever the data is available. 1 No or a minimum of disturbance by human activities and/or natural disasters, e.g. rainforest will be clearly stratified and mature, and show no signs of logging in the past or large scale forest fires, and coral reefs will be intact ( >75% hard corals alive) and not revealing any damage. Supports a maximum variety of species characterizing the particular habitat. 2 clearly affected by human activities and/or natural disasters, e.g. rainforest will be typical secondary forest clearly influenced by logging, large scale fires etc., reduced canopy stratification, and coral reef will be clearly affected by fish bombing, siltation, storm events etc. but a patchy and ’sustainable’distribution of living corals maintains (e.g. between 25 and 75 % hard corals alive). Species diversity is markedly reduced and the relative proportion of generalist organisms has increased.
  3. 3. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 3 of 34 3 highly affected by human activities and/or natural disasters, e.g. natural vegetation will consist of scrubs indicating recent clearings resulting from logging, fires etc., and coral reefs will be highly affected by fish bombing, siltation or storm events with no or only a few living corals left ( < 25 % hard corals alive ). These habitats support only a very limited amount of species dominated by generalist organisms. 0 no information on the present condition available. In the following an overview of the existing data are given for each of the 6 habitat systems including data quality, scale, availability, definition of classes, proposals for adjustment etc. Table 1: Sabah Coastal Habitat Classification System Classes Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Continental shelf Islands Rock bottom Bedrock bottom Rubble bottoms Unconsolidated Bottom Gravel bottom Sand bottom Mud Bottom Organic bottom Rocky Shore Bedrock shore Rubble shores Unconsolidated Shore Gravel shore Sand shore Mud shore Aquatic bed Agal beds Seagrass beds Marine Reef Coral Mollusc Worm Channels Estuarine Rock bottom Bedrock bottom Rubble bottoms Unconsolidated Bottom Gravel bottom Sand bottom Mud Bottom Organic bottom Rocky Shore Bedrock shore Rubble shores Unconsolidated Shore Gravel shore Sand shore Mud shore Emergent Wetland Persistent (salt marsh) Scrub-scrub Wetland Mangrove scrub Estuarine Forested Wetland Mangrove forest Channels Freshwater Rock bottom Bedrock bottom Rubble bottoms Unconsolidated Bottom Gravel bottom Sand bottom Mud Bottom Aquatic bed Algal Moss beds Vascular Rocky Shore Bedrock shore Rubble shores Unconsolidated Shore Gravel shore Sand shore Mud shore Riverine Emergent Wetland non-persistent Rock bottom Unconsolidated Bottom Aquatic bed Lacustrine Rocky Shore
  4. 4. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 4 of 34 System Classes Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Unconsolidated Shore Emergent Wetland non-persistent Emergent Wetland Persistent (typha swamp) Scrub-scrub Wetland freshwater evergreen scrub Palustrine Forested Wetland freshwater evergreen forest Terrestrial Lowland Dipterocarp Forest
  5. 5. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 5 of 34 2 Marine System Table 2: Marine Habitat Classification System System Classes Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Continental shelf Islands Rock bottom Bedrock bottom Rubble bottoms Unconsolidated Bottom Gravel bottom Sand bottom Mud Bottom Organic bottom Rocky Shore Bedrock shore Rubble shores Unconsolidated Shore Gravel shore Sand shore Mud shore Aquatic bed Algae beds Seagrass beds Marine Reef Coral Mollusc Worm The habitat classification of the of the marine system is based on the physical properties such as bottom and shore type, and a few very distinct type of communities such as coral reefs and seagrass beds. These classes are all related to the benthic communities (~ communities related to the sea floor) and some additional classes may be important to consider. Data related to water chemistry (nutrients, pollutants, productivity etc.), physical parameters (salinity, temperature, suspended material), water currents, etc. are needed to describe a few different marine habitats related to the communities found in the open water zone (pelagic zone). Some high productive open water areas serve as feeding grounds for a number of marine mammals and commercially important fish species. Data on water quality also acts as an indicator for the present and future conditions of the benthic communities. A simple classification of the pelagic environment could include some or all of the following parameters: - 2 or 3 classes of yearly average surface temperatures from satellite images (e.g. AVHRR SPLIT satellite images). These will provide information on sheltered low water areas, stratified open water columns often nutrient limited, and areas with turbid waters with high nutrient input and thus, high productivity. - 2 or 3 classes of yearly average pigment concentration in surface waters from satellite images (e.g. Nimbus 7 - CZCS image), providing information on areas with high plankton productivity. - 2 classes of yearly average salinity (ctd-measurements from ship) distinguishing between brackish (estuarine) water and saline water. Brackish waters related to estuaries support distinct highly productive pelagic communities including a large variety of commercially important fish species. - 3 classes of yearly average concentration of suspended materials (e.g. siltation) in the water column, e.g. <5 mg/l, 5-30 mg/l and >30 mg/l. These data already exists for the west coast of Sabah (EIA) and will provide information on the light penetration inhibition in the water column as well as an indirect measure of the present and future condition of the sea grass
  6. 6. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 6 of 34 beds, coral reefs etc. It is possible to use satelite images (AVHRR) to estimate concentration of suspended material (see reference 1 page 7-14 for general procedure). - 3 classes of bathymetry intervals to locate shallow water areas and the continental shelf. These could include the 200 meters contour line to specify the continental shelf boundary and a 20-meter contour line to specify areas of shallow water. These are available as point data from paper maps 1:1,550,000 (China Sea, Southern Portion -Eastern Sheet). Can be acquired from T&RPD or the admiralty. The latter may have more detailed information form some areas. For the west coast the bathymetry data is available as a data base file with coordinates and depth values (//iczm/shoreline data/data/bathyxx.dbf) and can be readily displayed in ArcView as a point theme. Another data source of bathymetry can be derived from 1:250,000 topographic maps (Joined operation graphic, 1974) available from Dept of Survey and Topography, T&RPD and Mr. Tom Foster. These include 18 and 182-meter curves. Depending on which data is included in a final habitat map, the resulting classes from obvious overlaying maps (~ definitions!) should be considered carefully. Some areas may be ’consolidated bottom’as well as ’high primary production’and could be put together in a combined subclass. To maintain the existing classification system, the information may instead be applied as a seperate column (-s) as an additional information that is not necessarily shown as a distinct subclass on the map. Only a very limited amount of data covering the marine system exists for the whole of Sabah. The only data available for whole Sabah is the location of coral reefs from Department of fisheries and the location of "beaches", landform classification from dept of agriculture (1:250,000; 1975). The data on coral reefs at the moment is not up to date, but an ongoing survey recording the condition and location of existing reefs are expected to be completed in a few years (Dept. of fisheries). The 1:250,000 topographic maps (Joined operation graphic, 1974) available from Dept of Survey and Topography, T&RPD and Mr. Tom Foster provide a rough indication on the distribution of coral reefs. For the West Coast area however some of the data exists including type of shore, location of seagrass beds, location and condition of coral reefs, bathymetry (depth values with coordinates), the amount of suspended material in the water (5 and 30 mg/l isolines), primary production and salinity. These data was provided by the West Coast Regional EIA, Tom Foster, and can be found in //iczm/shoreline data/ or acquired from Tom Foster. Data on salinity, primary production and suspended material are based on model results. Data on Seagrass and algae (seaweed) beds are available for some few local areas (some areas in Sandakan and Darvel Bay) on the East Coast as well as data on the present condition of coral reefs. The data on beaches is based on landform classification representing "areas with soil materials under marine influence". This definition includes unconsolidated shore types. There are some discrepancies between the landform classification and the classification from EIA (West coast data) although in general they are similar. Data on shore type for whole Sabah can also be provided using Satellite images available from fishery dept (Spot 20x20m and Landsat 30x30 images) making a rough distinguishing between consolidated and non-consolidated shores. The existing mapping of the West Coast shore type (EIA), areas with estuarine wetlands (departments of forestry and agriculture) and ground truething can be used to verify image classification. Also the 1:250,000 and 1:50,000 topographic maps may provide information to distinguish between sandy shores, tidal flats and rocky shores. In 1999 new shore type data will be available for Sandakan area and perhaps for the rest of the
  7. 7. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 7 of 34 East Coast of Sabah corresponding to the data already available for the west coast. The data will be provided and monitored by the ICZM unit. Regarding the reef classes "worm reef" and "mollusk reef" it should be considered if these are represented in the marine environment of Sabah. Areas with high densities of bivalves certainly exists and are generally associated with high nutrient input, high plankton productivity, strong currents and shallow waters, and thus may be indirectly indicated by some of the parameters classifying the marine pelagic environment as described above as well as the type of seafloor. If these areas, or some of them, can be reckoned as mollusk reefs defined as a physical reef like structure is questionable. The awareness of the existence of mollusk reefs has not been confirmed by the University of Sabah or the Department of Fishery. "Worm reefs" since it has no commercial interest has not been identified by authorities or described in the literature (to my knowledge). High densities of worms (mainly polychaetes) will most often appear in soft bottom marine and estuarine areas with high input of organic material to the sea floor. These areas are indirectly described by some of the parameters classifying the marine pelagic environment described above and information on the type of seafloor. Some data on type of seafloor may be available from the federal Geological Department in Ipoh (Hydro-Geological office) but unfortunately a number of attempts to contact the office failed. Another source could be the oil companies Shell and Petronas but data may be confidential.
  8. 8. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 8 of 34 3 Estuarine System Table 3: Estuarine Habitat Classification System System Classes Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Channels Estuarine Rock bottom Bedrock bottom Rubble bottoms Unconsolidated Bottom Gravel bottom Sand bottom Mud Bottom Organic bottom Rocky Shore Bedrock shore Rubble shores Unconsolidated Shore Gravel shore Sand shore Mud shore Emergent Wetland Persistent (salt marsh) Scrub-scrub Wetland Mangrove scrub Estuarine Forested Wetland Mangrove forest The estuarine system classification regarding bottom and shore type is identical to the marine system both regarding the definition and the availability of data is described under the Marine System. Channels in the marine as well as in the estuarine environment comprise narrow structures with permanent or frequently moving water. Such areas are for instance represented by narrow straits between small islands and the mainland or by narrow inlets to sheltered bays or fjords characterized by a distinct and elevated current primarily due to tidal water movements. These areas provide a distinct habitat for a variety of animals including often a large quantity of filter feeders (e.g. clams, mollusks). Data on the distribution and location of channels does not exist for Sabah. Estuarine wetlands in general are very productive areas often exceeding the productivity of lowland forests. It is especially important as nursing grounds for marine and estuarine commercial fish species. Maps on estuarine wetlands are available from Landform classification (agriculture dept; 1:250,000; 1975), Forest classification (forestry dept; 1:50,000; aerial photographs) and Land Cover mapping (Land & Survey; 1:100,000; 1997; radar satellite images). The classification from forestry dept covers the areas within the jurisdiction of the forestry dept, which is most of the estuarine wetland areas in Sabah, and data are very detailed based on the dominance of several classes of species. Although data are quiet old the species classification may still apply to the present situation in areas, which has not been logged or exploited. However, the species zonation may change over time at a considerable rate since the mangrove forests acts as sediment traps. This natural ’reclamation’ of land (some times as much as 100 meters seawards a year) also changes the salinity of the water environment that again determines the zonation of the mangrove species. It is therefore advisable to do some ground truething or studying recent aerial photographs if a very detailed species-specific classification is chosen. The Land Cover data from 1997 will provide the necessary information to update the forest classification maps to exclude areas that has been exploited. Both the land form classification and
  9. 9. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 9 of 34 the land cover maps supply data on the distribution of estuarine wetlands in state land areas. These data will not however provide information on different vegetation types. Subclasses of Estuarine wetland can include the distinguishing between Nipah swamp and mangrove. Further classification of "mangrove" may be done on the basis of the average canopy height characteristic of the different vegetation classes, thus distinguishing between forest and shrub mangrove (e.g. shrub mangrove defined as < 5 m canopy height). Shrub mangrove represents either a distinct natural type of mangrove specific for areas with low freshwater input or a regeneration state of a disturbed mangrove forest (natural/human disturbance). The mangrove species Arthrocnenum dominates the natural type of mangrove shrub.(2) The present condition of estuarine habitats should be evaluated using Land Cover mapping (L&S; 1:100,000; Radar Satellite images).
  10. 10. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 10 of 34 4 Riverine System Table 4: Riverine Habitat Classification System System Classes Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Channels Freshwater Rock bottom Bedrock bottom Rubble bottoms Unconsolidated Bottom Gravel bottom Sand bottom Mud Bottom Aquatic bed Algal Moss beds Vascular Rocky Shore Bedrock shore Rubble shores Unconsolidated Shore Gravel shore Sand shore Mud shore Riverine Emergent Wetland non-persistent The river system available at the moment as a digital format is unfortunate only a very rough map. To improve the river mapping it is advisable to digitize rivers from other existing paper maps, for example the 1:250,000 topographic maps. This can be done very easily and rapidly. The riverine system is primarily classified according to the physical properties of the river bottom. Such data is not available at the moment but is highly desirable (see appendix 3 for a recommendation on how to perform a simple survey on substrate type of river bottoms). However, an indirect measure of the physical properties of the rivers exists, classifying the riverine system based on the topography that could be applied as a temporary river classification. Riverine habitats of Borneo has been classified into 4 main classes (3): Montane streams - above 1,000 meters, cold water torrents, low species diversity, nutrient scarce environment, rare species. Upland streams - 100 - 1000 meters, cool-water torrents, great diversity of aquatic insects, Lowland rivers/streams - below 100 meters, very rich fauna including important commercial fish species. Freshwater tidal rivers - tidal influence, rich riparian vegetation, rich fauna, important breeding sites for estuarine fish. This classification including the three former classes can be applied using the 1044 meters contour line from PDM (Planning Development and Management) to locate montane streams. A rough distinction between lowland rivers and upland streams can be performed using the coastal zone inland boundary (200 feet ~ 66 m). It may however be more adequate to the 200 feet contour lines from topographic maps (1:250,000) available from Department of Survey and Topography, T&RPD and Tom Foster using the 400 feet contour line instead. An indicator of the extension of freshwater tidal rivers can be retrieved by classifying the river parts within the tidal swamps as tidal rivers (Mangrove forest mapping, Landform mapping). To ensure that most of the existing tidal rivers are included in the mapping the oldest available data on tidal swamps should be included for this purpose so that a minimum of tidal rivers will be excluded from the classification due to recent exploitation and destruction of tidal swamps.
  11. 11. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 11 of 34 An alternative way of classifying the river system is to use the existing data from Landform mapping (Dept of Agriculture; 1:50,000) and to classify the rivers system depending on the average slope of the surrounding land. It is necessary however to consider how the landform classification definitions suite the river classification described above before choosing this approach. The landform mapping includes ‘meander belts’ which may represent a distinct riverine habitat as well. No data are available of the distribution of riverine aquatic beds. It is questionable if ‘moss beds’ exists as a distinct habitat in Sabah. The presence of weed beds however in river swamps and river lakes is well documented for Indonesian Borneo (3). Macro algae often contribute significantly to the primary production in the upland rivers of Borneo, but the existence and distribution of algae beds in the rivers of Sabah needs to be confirmed. Riverine wetlands mainly comprise areas frequently, though not persistently, flooded by river water. Information on riverine wetlands is to some extend available covering the whole of Sabah from the landform classification (dept of agriculture; 1:50,000). This classification includes flood plains as well as meander belts that represent areas that have been affected by frequent flooding. These areas probably include areas with a geological history of frequent flooding which do not necessarily persist today. Thus, ground truething is advisable to monitor the actual distribution and location of this habitat. As a supplement the maps provided by DID covering flood prone areas of Sabah can be used as a rough guideline to locate riverine wetlands. The present condition of riverine habitats is highly determined by the amount of suspended material, e.g. siltation, in the river water as well as the physical regulation of the river channel. Some data on siltation is available from a number of sampling stations and presented in the ‘Water resources master plan, Negeri Sabah’ from certain localities. These data describe 3 classes that can be used as a condition index. <25 mg/l (~ condition index 1) between 25 and 100 mg/l (~ condition index 2) >100 mg/l (~ condition index 3) Model output data on suspended material in the river mouth of some major rivers on he west coast is available from the west coast EIA (Tom Foster) as well. Riverine non-persistent wetlands are generally covered with forest and the present condition of these areas can be acquired from Dept of Forestry (Forest classification), Dept of Agriculture (LU) and Dept of Land & Survey (Land cover). For more details on these maps see Terrestrial System. A distinct type of riverine habitats in Borneo is the 'Black water streams' which are streams draining peat swamps and heath forests and is characterised by acidic water and support a number species specially adapted to this particular environment, including surface breading fish. Streams within and deriving from peat swamps and heath forest can be classified as potential black water streams as long as more precise data is not available.
  12. 12. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 12 of 34 5 Lacustrine System According to the definition of lacustrine systems it includes freshwater habitats with a depth of more than 2 meters e.g. ponds, dammed river channels etc. This is a precise definition and can easily be applied to conditions in Sabah. There is no data on the existence of such habitats in Sabah. However, there might be some minor lacustrine habitats in especially the meander belts including enclosed river channels isolated from the meandering river as well as some minor lakes within the rivers system e.g. the Oxbow lake in Sukau, Sandakan district.
  13. 13. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 13 of 34 6 Palustrine System Table 5: Palustrine Habitat Classification System System Classes Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Sub-Class Emergent Wetland Persistent (typha swamp) Scrub-scrub Wetland Freshwater evergreen scrub Palustrine Forested Wetland Freshwater evergreen forest The palustrine system includes all non-tidal wetlands and deepwater habitats dominated by a cover (more than 30%) of trees, shrubs, emergent, mosses or lichens; and similar tidal wetlands where the haline salinity is less than 0.5%. The system has the following characteristics: (i) areas of less than 8 ha (20 acres); (ii) wave-formed unconsolidated shores or bedrock are lacking; (iii) the deepest depth at low water is less than 2 m (6.6’); and (iv) haline salinity is less than 0.5%." -- - It is questionable if this definition suites the palustrine freshwater habitats of Sabah, and it is advisable to consider a modification, especially the definition on size (<8 ha) since peat swamps (which I reckon as palustrine?) in Sabah covers some large areas. Data on freshwater habitats apart from the riverine and lacustrine wetlands is available from the land form classification that includes the distribution of "freshwater swamps/peat swamps" in Sabah (1:50,000). The exact definition of this landform class needs to be confirmed. Swamps on Borneo in general are covered by forest and the state of the forest, as for the terrestrial environment, can be determined by using the recent data on areas damaged by fires ( WWF, 1998, 1:500,000), land use data (agriculture, 1991, 1:50,000) and land cover data (land and survey, 1997, 1:100,000). For the major peat swamp area close to Kuala Penyu, the largest in Sabah, which was damaged severely by the fires in 1997-98 detailed studies of the state of the peat swamp forest may exist.
  14. 14. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 14 of 34 7 Terrestrial System The habitat classification system in Table 1 (page 3) is based on a proven wetland classification system. Thus, for the terrestrial system there has been no distinction between different habitat classes. Here we propose a number of habitat classes which has been described thoroughly in “The ecology of Kalimantan” by MacKinnon a.o and which are suitable for Sabah. This classification comprise the following classes (3): 1) Lowland Rainforest 2) Lower montane Rainforest 3) Upper montane Rainforest 4) Heath forest (kerangas) 5) Iron wood forest 6) Forest on ultra basic rocks 7) Limestone habitats Except for the two classes “heath forest” and “iron wood forest”, data describing these different terrestrial habitats actually exists when combining data from several sources, including recent data on the condition of the natural vegetation. Data on the distribution of forested areas (or natural vegetation) is available from agricultural departments land use classification (1991; 1:50,000; based on aerial photographs), Land & Survey Department’s land cover mapping (1997; 1:100,000; based on radar satellite images) and Forestry Department’s forest classification (1:50,000). All these data together provides an almost complete, updated and quiet detailed mapping of the distribution of areas with natural vegetation within the terrestrial and semi terrestrial environment of Sabah. However some problems have to be solved. The land cover data from Land & Survey Department has to be provided and the land use data from Department of Agriculture has to updated due to some classification errors. Another problem to be aware of is the difference in the mapping scales of the land use maps and the land cover maps. This means that data on very small forest/vegetation fragments in the land use maps cannot be updated using the land cover maps and thus may give an incorrect impression of the present situation. To distinguish between different habitat types several approaches is possible. The classification of forested areas can be derived from the land use mapping which classifies the areas with natural vegetation into 3 groups, prim/secondary forest, scrub forests and unspecified clearings. Areas with primary forest can be extracted using the data on the location of virgin jungle reserves, protected areas and possibly parks, available from department of forestry. Thus, it is possible to distinguish between 4 stages of areas with natural vegetation depending on the influence by human/natural activities such as logging, fires etc. This is extremely valuable as an index of the present conditions of the habitats. In addition, satellite data (based on spot images) showing areas damaged by forest fires in 1997-1998 (Burned scares maps BSM) is available from WWF in Kota Kinabalu (1:500,000) for the whole Sabah (WWF has to be contacted before the BMS data is applied). All these data together comprise a very up to date information on the condition and distribution of existing areas with natural vegetation. According to (3) the rainforests for Borneo can be classified into lowland (0-800 m), lower montane (800-1500m) and upper montane rainforest (>1500 m). The contour lines available from
  15. 15. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 15 of 34 PDM (Planning Development and Management ) can be applied. The elevation intervals are 1000 feet and the 3 classes of rainforest can be defined, approximately as described above, as forest in the elevation intervals 0-2000 (696 m) feet, 2000 – 4000 (1396 m) feet, and above 4000 feet. This is a very rough estimate of the distribution and location of the 3 different classes of forest. However, the transition from one class to the next is theoretical and is difficult, if not impossible, to locate. Thus, a more accurate contour map will not necessarily improve this classification. The classification will, however, be very useful to provide an indication on where to expect significant differences in the type of habitat. Certain conditions related to the soil material such as soils derived from ultra basic rocks or limestone bedrocks provide the basis for very distinct types of forest habitats (3). The soil classification of Sabah available from department of agriculture (1:250,000; 1975) distinguishes between different parent materials, i.e. the geological formations, including limestone and ultra basic rocks. This classification can be applied to delimit forested areas on limestone or ultra basic rocks from other habitat types. The character of forests on ultra basic rocks is highly variable ranging from quiet species diverse dipterocarp forests to less species diverse forests similar to the structure and physiognomy of heath forests (3). In Kinabalu Park above 2400 meters the forest on ultra basic rocks show a dramatic decrease in canopy height and a very low species diversity (3). Forests on limestone bedrocks support high species diversity, especially among plants, and often presents a high level of plant, and probably invertebrate, endemism. Apart from unique plant and animal communities, limestone bedrocks in some cases develop cave systems, which supports unique faunal communities including endemic invertebrates (3). The best source of the distribution of caves in Sabah may be Sabah Museum since caves most often provide archeological evidences of human history. Heath forests or Kerangas are found on soils derived form siliceous parent materials. These soils are highly acidic, commonly coarsely textured and free-draining (3) resulting in a limited capacity to store and supply nutrients. In Sabah heath forest is often found on dip slopes in hilly country, where sandstone beds lie close to and parallel to the surface (see ref 3 for original reference). The forest has a low uniform single layered canopy formed by the crowns of large saplings and small poles. This forest type can be readily identified by because of its pale tone and fine texture using aerial photographs. Known canopy heights can vary greatly between ca. 5 –40 meters. Heath forest supports less species than the lowland dipterocarp forest but can still be regarded as a species rich habitat although species diversity may vary greatly. Production is generally low. The regeneration of cleared heath forest has not been documented although some geological records may indicate that regeneration can occur but over a very long period of time. Some data may exist in the Dept of Forestry. Data on iron wood forest does not exist but does represent a distinct ecological habitat in the species diverse lowland rainforest.
  16. 16. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 16 of 34 Class Sub-class Data provider Table/Column Cond Definition Primary forest Forestry Fr/Virgin jungle reserve and parks 1 Dipterocarp forest in lowland areas (0 – 696 meters above sea level) with no or a minimum of disturbance by human activities. Has not been logged. High species diversity, high productivity, stratified canopy, typical canopy height 25-45 m (emergents up to 65 m). Agriculture Land Use / Secondary forest Land & Surv. Land Cover/? Secondary forest Forestry Fr/Commercial forest 2 Dipterocarp forest in lowland areas (0 – 696 meters above sea level) clearly disturbed by human activities such as logging. Intermediate species diversity, high productivity, reduced canopy stratification, reduced canopy height. 1) Lowland rainforest* Other vegetation Agriculture Land Use / scrub forest - unspecified clearings 3 Recently cleared (logging, fires etc.) dipterocarp forest in lowland areas (0 – 696 meters above sea level), with vegetation less than 5 meters, low species diversity. Prodtivity ???. Primary Forestry Fr/Virgin jungle reserve and parks 1 Dipterocarp, oak and/or chestnut forest in lower montane areas (696-1392 meters above sea level) with no or a minimum of disturbance by human activities. Has not been logged. High species diversity, high productivity, stratified canopy. Typical canopy height 15-33 m (emergents up to 45 m). Agriculture Land Use / Secondary forest Land & Survey Land Cover/? Secondary Forestry Fr/Commercial forest 2 Dipterocarp, oak and/or chestnut forest in lowland montane areas (696-1392 meters above sea level) clearly disturbed by human activities such as logging. Reduced species diversity, high productivity, reduced canopy stratificationc, reduced canopy height. Agriculture Land Use / scrub forest - unspecified clearings 2) Lower montane rainforest* Other vegetation WWF WWF / fire scars 3 Recently cleared (logging, fires etc.) dipterocarp, oak and/or chestnut forest in lower montane areas (696 - 1396 meters above sea level), with vegetation less than 5 meters, low species diversity. Prodtivity ???. 3) Upper montane rainforest Primary Forestry Fr/Virgin jungle reserve and parks 1 Includes Ericaceous forest as well as sub alpine vegetation in upper montane areas (>1392 meters above sea level) with no or a minimum of disturbance by human activities. Has not been logged. Typical canopy height between 1.5 - 18 m (emergents 15 -26 m).
  17. 17. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 17 of 34 Class Sub-class Data provider Table/Column Cond Definition Agriculture Land Use / scrub forest - unspecified clearings Land & Survey Land Cover/? Secondary Forestry Fr/Commercial forest 2 Includes Ericaceous forest as well as sub alpine vegetation in upper montane areas (>1392 meters above sea level) clearly disturbed by human activities such as logging. Reduce canopy height. Agriculture Land Use / scrub forest - unspecified clearings Other vegetation WWF WWF / fire scars 3 Recently cleared (logging, fires etc.) ericaceous forest or sub alpine vegetation in upper montane areas (>1392 meters above sea level. Same as for class 1 to 34) Forest on ultra basic rocks Agriculture Soil map / ultra basic rocks (parent material) 1-3 Forests on soil derived from ultra basic rocks. Highly variable habitats ranging from species diverse dipterocarp forests to less species divers forests similar in structure to heath forests. Some forests (e.g. 2400 m. on Mt. Kinabalu) with dominance of very few species of trees (Dacrydium gibbsiae, Leptospermum recurrum) and ferns. High variability in productivity, canopy height and species diversity. Same as for class 1 to 3Limestone forest Agriculture Soil map / limestone bed rock (parent material) 1-3 Forest on limestone bed rock characterized with a rich flora and a high level of plant and probably invertebrate endemism. Can be divided into lowland, lower montane and upper montane limestone forested similar to class 1 -3 representing different plant communities. 5) Limestone habitats Limestone caves 1-3 Support unique faunal communities including endemic invertebrate species. 6) Heath forest (Kerangas ) ?? ?? 1-3 Forest found on soils derived from siliceous parent materials, highly acidic, commonly coarsely textured and free draining. Low species diversity, low productivity 7) Iron wood forest ?? ??
  18. 18. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 18 of 34 8 References 1) Janssen L.L.F. and Allewijn R., "EARSeL Workshop on Remote Sensing and GIS for coastal zone management", Rijkswaterstaat Survey Department, 24-26 october 1994. (available from T&RPD) 2) Tomascik T., Mah A.J., Nontji A., Moosa M.K., "The Ecology of the Indonesian Seas - Part I & II:", The Ecology of Indonesia Series Volume VII & VIII, Periplus Edition, Singapore, 1997 3) MacKinnon K., Hatta G., Halim H., Mangalik A., "The ecology of Kalimantan - Indonesian Borneo", The Ecology of Indonesia Series Volume III , Periplus Edition, Singapore, 1997 4) "Water Resources Master Plan, Negeri Sabah", 1994.
  19. 19. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 19 of 34 Appendix 1: GIS procedures using ArcView 3.0a The data availability described in the previous enables the mapping of a number of natural habitats of Sabah. These will be listed below. Numbers in brackets indicate the condition index if available. A * indicate that the data only exist for some areas in Sabah. Data based on land use data, especially the condition index data for the terrestrial habitats, will cover most parts of Sabah and the coastal zone except a few minor areas. Marine System Continental shelf Islands Coral Reefs (1-3*) Sandy shores Bathymetry Muddy shores* Rocky shores* Estuarine System Sandy shores Muddy shores ~ tidal flats Rocky shores (Mangrove scrub) Mangrove forest Nipah swamp* Unspecified Estuarine wetland Riverine system Montane streams Upland streams Lowland rivers/streams Freshwater tidal rivers ’Black water’rivers Riverine wetland (~ flood plains and meander belts)(1-3) Palustrine system Peat swamp forest / freshwater swamps (1-3) Terrestrial system Lowland rainforest (1-3) Lower montane rainforest (1-3) Upper montane rainforest (1-3) Forest on ultra basic rocks (1-3) Limestone forest (1-3) Limestone caves
  20. 20. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 20 of 34 Customizing ArcView project The complete habitat map will consist of a number of different themes both polygon themes as well as polyline and point themes. Polygons, lines and point cannot be merged together in one theme, so the habitat map has to be prepared in a view consisting of several themes. Several GIS procedures have to be done to create and extract data. This includes the use of a number of avenue scripts. To ease the working procedures the ArcView project should first be customized creating a new menu named for example ’Special tools’that refers to the different avenue scripts. Before customizing the project load the avenue scripts by opening the "script" window and click on "new". Then select "load text file" from the "script" menu and select a file from the /coastal zone/text/avenue scripts/favorites and activate the "compile"-button on the top of the screen. Rename the script name from "script1" to a name representing the function of the script, for example "intersect themes". Choose "new" in the script window and load a new avenue script. The scripts used are: Cvtplply (converts line to polygon) Expclean (clean poly line) Genfeat (generalizes features) Clipthm (clip theme with theme) Intrsect (intersect themes) Mrgthems (merges themes) Customizing your ArcView project is done by choosing "customize" in the "project" - menu. Choose "new menu" and double click on "label" in the table below to name the new menu "special tools". Click on "new item" to create a new menu item and double click on the "label" to name the new item corresponding to the desired avenue script, for example "intersect" or "make buffer". Double click on "click" and select the desired avenue script from the list. Repeat the "new item" procedure for each script. Close the customizing window. Now the menu is visible and by clicking on each of the items each script can be activated. The attribute tables Several themes will be made producing the habitat map. All attribute tables have to be identical, i.e. having the same number of fields ( ~ columns), the same field definition (~ string 16, number 5, etc.) and field names. Fields are added to a new or existing table using the "add field" from the "edit" menu. All tables should have the following fields: Shape - this field is automatically generated h_class (string, 20) - habitat class name e.g. ’upland river’ h_subclass (string, 20) - habitat sub-class name e.g. ‘rock bottom’ condition (number, 4) - 1, 2, 3 or 0. name (string, 20) - name of river if available remarks (string, 30) - any important remarks 'Field type' and 'Field width' has to be specified for each field as given in the brackets. Marine system Classifying the marine system The marine system including the estuarine areas can be defined as in the Sabah Coastal Zone Profile, i.e. the marine area within the EEZ-boundary and the coast line. This file has been
  21. 21. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 21 of 34 prepared and can be found in //coastal zone/gis/sabah/natural habitats/’ named ‘Marine habitats’ and includes islands and the sea area. Sea area is represented by 1 polygon. Further classification is needed. Coral reefs Open //iczm/shoreline data/maine themes/corals.shp’ and //iczm/fisheries/corals.shp. These themes has to be put together with the ‘Marine habitats’ theme using the following procedure: Make a copy of each theme using ‘convert to shape file’ named ‘fish_coral’ and ‘shore_coral’ and prepare the attribute tables as described above. For the ‘shore_coral’ however, don’t delete the fields ‘live_coral’ and ‘dead_coral’ and ‘location’. Open attribute tables for each theme, select all, and click on the field ‘h_class’ in the table. Use ‘calculate’ from the ‘theme’ menu and write the text “coral reef” in the white text box. Remember citation marks. For the ‘shore_coral’ apply a condition index (1-3): 1: >75 % live hard corals 2: 25 – 75 % live hard corals 3: < 25 % live hard corals ‘theme’ menu and choose (~double click) on the field ‘location’ in The %-numbers is calculated from the 2 fields ‘live_coral’ and ‘dead_coral’. Add a new field “percent” and define as 'number, 4' and use ‘calculate’ to calculate the %-number with the equation: 100*([live_coral]/([live_coral]+[dead_coral])) Use ‘query’ from the ‘theme’-menu to select ‘percent’>75. Click on the ‘condition’ field, click on ‘calculate’ from the ‘theme’ menu, and add the number 1 in the white text box. 1 is now added to the selected records. Now select ‘percent’<75 OR ‘percent’>25 and repeat the procedure adding a 2 to the white text box. Finally select ‘percent’<25 and repeat the procedure and add 3 to the white text box. Now a condition index has been applied. Delete the fields ‘dead_coral’ and ‘live_coral’. Update the field ‘name’ with the names of coral reefs from the field ‘location’ by clicking on the field ‘name’ in the table, click on ‘calculate’ in the the list and press OK. Delete the field ‘location’. Save. 1. Make a copy of the two themes named ‘fc_copy’ and ‘sc_copy’ 2. Make each copied theme editable, select all, and union all polygons 3. Merge ‘sc_copy’ and ‘fc_copy’ to a new theme ‘sc_fc’. It is important to merge the two themes in the given order. 4. Make ‘sc_fc’ editable, select, substract and save. 5. Select ‘condition’=0 using a query to extract fishery data not within the data from shoreline, ‘convert to shape file’ and name the file ‘fc_temp’. 6. ‘Intersect’ the file ‘fc_temp’ with ‘fish_coral’ to create a new file ‘fc_split’. 7. Now ‘merge ‘sc_fc’ with ‘marine habitats’ in a new file ‘temp1’ 8. Make ‘temp1’ editable, select all, substract and save. Now the coral reefs have to be split into unique polygons. 1) ‘Intersect’ the file ‘them1’ with ‘shore_coral’ to generate ‘temp2’ 2) ‘Intersect’ the file ‘them2’ with the ‘fc_split’ to generate ‘marine habitats_new’ 3) Now the table has to be edited to delete columns from the intersection themes. Make sure the ‘condition’ field to be kept in the final table is updated with the values from the
  22. 22. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 22 of 34 ‘condition’ field originating from the ‘shore_coral’ theme. Update by clicking on the field name to be updated in the table, click on ‘calculate’, choose (~ double click) on the field ‘condition’ from the list that contains the conditions values, and press OK. Also update the field ‘name’ that should be kept in the final table with the corresponding field ‘name’ containing names of some of the coral reefs. 4) Save ‘marine habitat_new’ as ‘marine habitat’ to be the new table. When data on bottom substrate, sea grass beds, primary production etc. is available, the same procedure has to be applied. It is important to ensure that the addition of new polygons or themes to an existing theme must be performed so that each polygon in the end is independent and not unionised. Each polygon must be represented by a unique record in the attribute table making it possible to add data to each polygon related to condition, name, subclass etc. To locate the Continental shelf boundary bathymetry data must be digitized to cover the whole of Sabah. Using a digitizing table this will not be very labor intensive. Use the rough 1:1,550,000 sea map available at T&RPD and digitize the points and add the values corresponding to the points. For the west coast these data already exists in the file //iczm/shoreline data/data/bathyxx.dbf. This file can be viewed in ArcView by choosing the 'table' window in the ArcView project. Click 'Add' and open the file. Now open a new 'View' and click on 'add event theme' from the 'view' menu. Pick the table from the list and select 'N1' as 'x-field' and 'N2' as 'y-field'. Estuarine system The estuarine open water To distinguish between estuarine and marine bottom, bed and open water habitats data on salinity is needed although this is not available at the moment. When available marine coastal areas with a lowered salt content should be classified as estuarine areas. Classification should be added to file ‘Marine habitats’ and ‘class’ should be named for example ‘estuarine consolidated bottom’ and 'marine consolidated bottom'. The esturarine wetlands The estuarine wetlands, mainly mangrove, exceeds inland across the coastal water, and therefore cannot be classified within the table ‘Marine habitats’. Open the table //iczm/forest/mangrove_type. Save a new copy as “Estuarine wetland habitats” using ‘convert to shape file’. Add the fields described above in “The attribute tables”. Delete all other fields except ‘mgtype’. Select ‘mgtype’=2 OR ‘mgtype’=8 using a query to select Nipah swamp. Open the table. Click on the ‘mgtype’ field, use ‘calculate’ from the ‘field’ menu and write the text “nipah swamp” in the white text box. Selected fields are now named “nipah swamp”. Save selected records using ‘convert to shape file’ and name I “Nipah”. Click on the ‘switch selection’- button and repeat the procedure but with the text “mangrove forest” and name the new file “Mgr”. Open ‘//coastal zone/gis/sabah/landform/tidal swamps_landform.shp’ and save a copy using ‘convert to shape file’ and name it “unsp”. Delete all fields in the attribute table except ‘shape’ and add the fields as described above. Select all fields and add the text “Unspecified mangrove” to the field ‘habitat class’ using ‘calculate’ command. Now the 3 maps (nipah, mgr, unspec_mgr) have to be put together in 1. Since the maps overlap the following procedure must be followed to exclude overlaps.
  23. 23. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 23 of 34 1) Make a copy of each of the 3 themes named nipah_c, mgr_c and unsp_c. 2) For each copied theme select all and ‘union’ all polygons. 3) Merge ‘nipah_c’ and ‘unsp_c’ to a new file ‘nipah+unsp’ 4) Make ‘nipah+unsp’ editable, select all, ‘substract’ polygons and save 5) Merge ‘mgr’ and ‘nipah+unsp’ to a new file ‘mnu’ 6) Make ‘mnu’ editable, select ‘mangrove forest’ and ‘unspecified mangrove’ from the ‘habitat class’ field, substract polygons and save. 7) To split unionized polygons use ‘intersect’ command to intersect ‘mnu’ with ‘nipah’ to make a new theme ‘temp1’. Then intersect ‘temp1’ with ‘Mgr’ to make a new theme ‘temp2’. 8) Open the table of ‘temp2’ and delete columns added from ‘mgr’ and ‘nipah’ during the ‘intersect’ procedure. Make sure the ‘habitat class’ field include the 3 habitat classes. When available the Land Cover map from Land & Survey Department should be used to update the ‘Estuarine wetland habitats’ map, to exclude recent exploited areas as well as applying a condition index depending on the condition of the forest cover. Riverine system River system The river system available from dept of forestry is only including major rivers and is incomplete. A more complete river map can be digitized from 1:500,000 maps available from T&RPD. This shouldn’t take more than a day. If the existing river system map from forestry is applied, select "river-id" = 610000 and "convert to shape file". This excludes the included coast line. The attribute table related to the ArcView river shape file should be prepared or modified as described earlier. Names of some of the rivers are given in the forestry river file in the field ‘name’. Lowland, upland and montane rivers Converting contour lines into polygons Create a polygon representing the >1044 meter above sea level by opening the AutoCAD file “//iczm/basemaps/contour.dxf”. Remember to activate the “CadReader” extension in the project menu “extensions” in the “file”-menu. Query for “layer”=1044M and ‘convert to shape file’. To transform contour lines into polygons use “convert line to polygon” from the new menu after making the theme active. You will be asked if you want “to force closure”. This converts all lines to polygons but often the created polygons are wrong which will be very obviously indicated by long strait lines. Therefor, if the result is not acceptable edit the line theme and make sure that the poly lines are properly snapped2 together and try to do the conversion again. If the result is still not acceptable after several approaches, it might help to run the script “generalize features” which delete small dangling notes ( small line segments ‘sticking’ out). You will have specify maximum length of notes to be deleted. This procedure will reduce the quality of data so take care. Name the resulting file “cont1044poly.shp”. Add a new field to “cont1044poly.shp” called “elevation” and give all the records the same value, for example “1044”. Save the file. 2 To enable snapping click on the ’properties’-command in the ’theme’-menu. Click on ’editing’and mark the field ’general snapping’. Set snapping tolerance to for example 200 meters but if the snapping result is not satisfactory enter a smaller tolerance.
  24. 24. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 24 of 34 Classifying lowland, upland and montane rivers From the ’//iczm/iczm_general/ICZM2’ polygon shape file use a query to select ’layer’ = ’border’and ’layer’= ’away’representing 0-66 and >66 meters above sea level and ’convert to shape file’. The resulting polygon file (overlay theme) is used to ’intersect’the river shape file (intersect theme) to create a new line theme ‘temp river 1’. Intersect ‘temp river 1” with ‘cont1044poly” to create a new line theme ‘River habitat’. Now it is time to reclassify the ‘River habitat’. Make sure the table is editable. Open table of ‘River habitat’ and make a query to select ‘border’ from the ‘layer’ – field. Use ‘Calculate’ and select the field “habitat” from the list and write “Lowland river” in the white text box, - citation marks are necessary. Now the selected rivers (between 0 and 66 meters above sea level) will get the habitat class “lowland river”. Make a new query for ‘layer’=’away’ and repeat the procedure using the habitat class name “Upland river”. Make a third query for ‘elevation’=’1044” and repeat the procedure using the habitat class name “Montane river”. After completion delete all field (~ columns) except the 6 fields mentioned above. Tidal rivers and blackwater streams Classifying tidal rivers Open a new view. Open ‘River habitat’ theme, ‘//iczm/forest/mangrove_type.shp’ and ‘//coastal zone/gis/sabah/natural habitats/tidal swamps_landform.shp’. Make ‘river habitat’ editable and select manually river poly line located within the mangroves/tidal swamps. Open the attribute table and add the text “Tidal river” to the selected records using ‘calculate’ from the ‘field’-menu. Select the field ‘habitat class’ and write “tidal river” in the white text box. Alternatively, open the ‘mangrove habitat’ map (see below) and ‘select all’. Make the ‘River habitat’ active. Use the ‘select by theme…’ command in the ‘theme’ –menu. Choose ‘intersect’ and ‘mangrove habitat’ in the dialog box. This will select all river lines within the mangrove polygons including lines which begins within the polygone but proceeds outside the mangrove areas. To avoid this error, it may be necessary to edit the ‘River habitat’ theme by ‘splitting’ lines either manually where mangrove polygons intersect the river lines or by using the ‘intersect’ command. Using the ‘intersect command’ it will be necessary to edit the new intersecting theme by deleting the fields which have been added to the table. Classifying black water streams The same procedure as for ‘tidal rivers’ can be applied. The ‘peat swamp’ theme (see under palustrine system below) is used instead of the ‘tidal swamps’ themes. River water condition Condition index can be applied for some rivers. Data from ‘Water resources master plan, Negeri Sabah 1994’ show a map with 3 classes of suspended matter {high (>100 mg/l), medium (25-100 mg/l), low (<25 mg/l)} in river water at several station. A rough classification can be applied to some river systems assuming that the suspended material concentration at a station is representative for the river all the way down stream to the sea or to the next station that indicate a different suspended material level. If no data exist of a certain part of the river leave a ‘0’. The 1-3 condition index represents low-high suspended material concentration. Riverine wetlands Classifying floodplains and meander belts
  25. 25. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 25 of 34 Open the file ‘//coastal zone/gis/sabah/landforms/floodplains_landform.shp’. Edit the attribute table so that it has the same fields (~ columns) as for the ‘River habtitat’ and rename it to ‘Floodplain’ by using the ‘convert to shape file’ - command. Select all and apply the name 'Riverine wetland' to the Column 'Habitat class'. Apply the name 'Floodplain' to the column 'Habitat sub-class'. Open the file ‘//coastal zone/gis/sabah/landforms/meander belts.shp’. Edit the attribute table so that it has the same fields (~ columns) as for the ‘River habtitat’ and rename it to ‘Meander belt’ by using the ‘convert to shape file’ - command. Select all and apply the name 'Riverine wetland' to the Column 'Habitat class'. Apply the name 'Meander belt' to the column 'Habitat sub-class'. Use the command 'Merge themes' from the menu 'special tools' and select 'floodplain habitat' from the list, click OK and select 'meander belt habitat' from the list, click OK. Then click 'Cancel' and name the output file 'Meander&floodplain habitat'. The 2 themes are then merged together in one. If any problems occur make sure the two themes to merge have identical attribute tables including number of fields, name of fields and definition of fields (string 16, number 10 etc.). Number of records does not have to match. Condition index 1-3 is added depending on the state of the forest/vegetation cover. 'Intersect' the 'Meander&Floodplain habitat'' with the 'Terrestrial habitat' map (see below) which already include a condition index for the forest cover. Name the new theme 'Riverine wetland habitat'. Open its attribute table and 'start editing'. Delete fields derived from the 'terrestrial habitat' map except the field 'condition index' which contains values 1, 2, 3 or 0. Now the these values have to be copied to the empty 'condition' field. Click on the field name of the field that has to contain the condition index, click on 'calculate' from the 'field' menu, select the 'condition' field with the index values from the list, click OK and condition indexes have been copied to the empty 'condition' field. Delete the field holding the original index values. Any remarks from any of the 2 'remarks' fields should be put together in one. Some of the riverine wetlands will be classified as ‘wetlands’ in the land use maps, and will not provide a condition index. So those areas will have a condition index ‘0’ indication no data on condition available. Terrestrial System The following maps are needed: Frsa (field ‘Frlab’= 1, 6 and 7 ~ protection areas, virgin jungle reserves and parks) LU_forest (field ‘discript’=6/7C, 6/7S, 7C, 7C/6, 7F, 7FC, 7S, 7S/6) Land Cover (veg_type='natural vegetation') Cont696poly Cont1396poly Limestone (Soilmap: par_materi=3) Ultrabasic rocks (Soilmap:par_materi=7) Burned scars map (BSM from WWF - needs to be converted to a vector map and georeferenced) Before this mapping can be properly generated the land use map needs to be updated for some classification errors, the land cover maps have to be provided and the Burned scars image map has to be given the correct geographical coordinates and transformed to a vector map.
  26. 26. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 26 of 34 1) Select the land cover map class ’natural vegetation’ using a query and ’convert to shape file’creating a new file "lc_forest" and prepare the attribute table as described above but keep the field ’Veg_name’. 2) Select the land use classes corresponding to natural vegetation (field ‘discript’=6/7C, 6/7S, 7C, 7C/6, 7F, 7FC, 7S, 7S/6) using a query and 'convert to shape file' creating a new file "lu_forest". Prepare the attribute tabel as described above but keep the field 'discript'. 3) For 'lu_forest' add the condition index '2' to the field 'condition' for the discript-class '7F' and apply the condition index '3' for the discript-class 7FC, 7S, 7S/6, 6/7C, 6/7S, 7C, 7C/6. Add the condition index by selecting the discript-classes using a query, click on the field name of the 'condition' field in the table, click on calculate' in the field-menu and write the condition index in the white text box. 4) For 'lc_forest' add the condition index '2' to the field 'condition' for the veg_name-classes 'swamp forest', 'wetland forest' and 'dry land forest'. Add the index '3' to 5) the field 'condition' for the 'veg_name' classes 'lalang' and 'cleared land'. Add condition index as described for 'lu_forest'. 6) Make a copy of each theme and name them "lc_c" and "lu_c" and delete the fields 'discript' and 'veg_name'.
  27. 27. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 27 of 34 Appendix 2: Additional notes from Christopher Pastakia This note is compiled as a clarification to the concepts provided by Mr. Flemming Hansen in his note: Natural habitats of Sabah, Dec. 1998. There are only three levels in the present classification system for Sabah, as shown in Figure 1 (below). The sub-classes in the present system all have the same ranking, and there is no limit placed on the number of Classes or Sub-Classes, provided each can be uniquely defined. Figure 1: Present classification hierarchy The refinement of the sub-classes by a condition value can be incorporated if the Condition is placed as an index below each sub-class (Figure 2). Figure 2: Present classification hierarchy, adding Condition index
  28. 28. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 28 of 34 The Classification is based on the hydro-morphology of the habitat defined. Maintaining this base for habitat definition is critical for the expansion of the classification to cover pelagic and terrestrial ecosystems. Hydro-morphological classification means the consideration of the aquatic environment, as well as the bottom structure over which the water is found. Both contribute to the ecosystem therein, and neither can be neglected. Where the aquatic environment is the same throughout a Class (eg: the Pelagic Class) the sub- classes may be based on the bottom structure only. In some cases habitats will not be found, or have not yet been identified as falling into particular sub-classes. An example of this is the sub-class "worm reefs". Some polychaete worms do form casts that form reefs in some waters. If these reefs do not exist in Sabah, then they can be omitted from the classification at this time. If ever found in the future they can be properly re-incorporated. This will apply as a principle to all sub-classes. Within the estuarine system ground truthing of mangrove swamps might well be necessary (it is certainly desirable). If definitions are developed for the separation of mangrove forest, scrub and Nipah, then the definitions for these sub-classes must be made and clearly show the distinctions between them. The definition of "channels" in the estuarine class would be the same as for "channels" in the riverine system. Here the distinction between the systems would be primarily on salinity. I am very concerned about the suggestions on riverine habitats to change this classification, as these suggested classes/sub-classes are not based on hydromorphology. The habitats of rivers are very dependent on the substrate (indeed in Europe this was suggested as a universal form of river classification way back in the late 1970’s). The fact that knowledge of the river bottoms does not exist, cannot justify fitting a classification to data, rather than data to a classification. I would suggest that what is needed here is work to determine the bottoms of the river stretches. Although a large task in terms of the geographic scope, this can be done in a very elementary way. I suggest using a traditional lead line, with a tallow-filled dimple, which will pick up some of the substrate when the lead lands on the bottom. This (in Sandakan) could be another project under the qualitative monitoring programme. Please note that ’blackwater streams’ are not unique to Borneo. They have been far more studied and detailed in Africa and South America, and are natural systems where coastal peat swamps occur. From my personal experience I would suggest that the rivers may be placed in a separate sub-class, up to the point where they lose acidity and clarity (the two seem to go together). Peat swamps can be either forms of Emergent Wetland or Scrub-scrub Wetland, depending on the hydraulic drainage regime of the area. Lacustrine derives from the Latin lacus meaning lake or pond, and palustrine from the Latin palus: a marsh. I suggest that these two systems be re-defined so that Lacustrine covers all permanent, deep (more than 2 metres),non-flowing, bodies of freshwater (including reservoirs and ponds); and Palustrine covering all permanent or seasonally inundated, shallow (less than 2 m), non-flowing, bodies of freshwater. I agree that there is then no need to worry about the surface area of the water body. Again, in my experience the habitat is better defined by depth than by area. I fully agree with using the classification for the Terrestrial system from the ’Ecology of Kalimantan’. Here the hydrology would be freshwater, so the morphology becomes the distinguishing factor, and this is done in this particular classification. Again, beware trying to
  29. 29. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 29 of 34 fit the classification to data. If the data is needed, it can be collected over time, and the classification will still be valid (even with a number of ’gaps’at present).
  30. 30. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 30 of 34 Appendix 3: Definitions of major ecosystems System Definition Marine The marine system consists of the ocean overlying the continental shelf and the associated shores, including the splash zone, which are exposed to the action of tides, waves and currents. Salinities are in excess of 30%, except in marine areas influenced by the flows from estuary mouths. The plants and animals that exist in the marine system are affected by the following main factors; (i) the degree of exposure to wave action; (ii) the nature of the substrate; (iii) the amplitude of the tides; and (iv) temperature (which is a function of latitude and ocean currents). Estuarine Deepwater tidal habitats and their adjacent tidal wetlands which have access to the open ocean (if only sporadically) and are at least partly diluted by freshwater runoff. The Estuarine system encompasses estuaries and lagoons, as well as offshore areas of continuously diluted seawater. Estuarine areas are dominated by halophytes. Riverine The Riverine system includes all wetlands and deepwater habitats contained within a channel, with two exceptions: (i) wetlands dominated by a cover of trees, shrubs, emergents, mosses or lichens, and (ii) habitats with a haline salinity of more than 0.5%. The floodplain that extends from the river is not considered part of the Riverine, but part of the Lacustrine or Palustrine systems. Lacustrine The Lacustrine system includes wetlands and deepwater habitats with the following characteristics; (i) situated in a topographic depression or a dammed river channel; (ii) with less than 30% cover from trees, shrubs, emergents, mosses and lichens; (iii) more than 8 ha (20 acres) in area or, if less, the shores are of bedrock or wave-formed unconsolidated substrate. Lacustrine systems have deepest depths at low water of more than 2 m (6.6’) and haline salinity is always less than 0.5%. Palustrine The Palustrine system includes all non-tidal wetlands and deepwater habitats dominated by a cover (more than 30%) of trees, shrubs, emergent, mosses or lichens; and similar tidal wetlands where the haline salinity is less than 0.5%. The system has the following characteristics: (i) areas of less than 8 ha (20 acres); (ii) wave-formed unconsolidated shores or bedrock are lacking; (iii) the deepest depth at low water is less than 2 m (6.6’); and (iv) haline salinity is less than 0.5%. Terrestrial
  31. 31. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 31 of 34
  32. 32. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 32 of 34 Appendix 4: Habitat classification and definitions System Map classi- fication Classes Definition M1 Continental shelf That portion of the coastal and marine land that is permanently inundated with seawater, and forms the undersea boundary strip between the land and the deep ocean. M2 Islands A permanent land mass that is completely, surrounded by water and in no way joined to another larger land mass, characteristically small in size (i.e. not large enough to constitute a continental land mass - the exceptions being Australia and Antarctica). Islands include small exposed rocks, cays, and atolls. M3a Rock bottom The bottom of wetland and deepwater habitats that is composed primarily of bedrock, boulders, stones (75% or more) and with a plant cover of usually less than 30%. M3b Unconsolidated Bottom Bottom of wetlands and deepwater habitats formed from unconsolidated substrates, viz.: cobbles, gravel, sand, mud or organic soils. M4a Rocky Shore The bottom of wetland and deepwater habitats that is composed primarily of bedrock, boulders, stones (75% or more) and with a plant cover of usually less than 30%. M4b Unconsolidated Shore Shores formed from unconsolidated substrates, viz.: cobbles, gravel, sand, mud or organic soils. M5 Aquatic bed These are wetlands and deepwater habitats in all systems, dominated by plants that grow principally on or below the surface of the water for most of the growing season. Marine M6 Reef Reefs are ridge- or mound- like structures formed by the colonisation and growth of sedentary invertebrates, in the marine and estuarine systems. Frequently these areas contain more dead skeletal material than living matter. Reefs may be submerged or intermittently exposed. Once permanently exposed they become atolls or cays, and small islets. E1 Channels An open conduit either naturally or artificially created which periodically or permanently contains moving water.Estuarine E1 Rock bottom The bottom of wetland and deepwater habitats that is composed primarily of bedrock, boulders, stones (75% or more) and with a plant cover of usually less than 30%.
  33. 33. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 33 of 34 System Map classi- fication Classes Definition E1 Unconsolidated Bottom Bottom of wetlands and deepwater habitats formed from unconsolidated substrates, viz.: cobbles, gravel, sand, mud or organic soils. E2a Rocky Shore Shores composed primarily of bedrock, boulders, stones (75% or more) . E2b Unconsolidated Shore Shores formed from unconsolidated substrates, viz.: cobbles, gravel, sand, mud or organic soils. E3 Emergent Wetland Wetland that undergo periodic, though maybe prolonged, covering by water, and which are dominated by erect, rooted hydrophytes (but not mosses and lichens). All systems provide examples of these wetlands. E4 Scrub-scrub Wetland Scrub-scrub wetlands include all systems except the sub-tidal areas of the marine and estuarine systems, which are dominated by a cover of woody shrubs. These areas are often transitional areas before the development of forest. E4 Forested Wetland Wetland characterised by a cover of forest, found in all water systems, but rarely in Marine and Lacustrine. R1 Channels An open conduit either naturally or artificially created which periodically or permanently contains moving water. R1 Rock bottom The bottom of wetland and deepwater habitats that is composed primarily of bedrock, boulders, stones (75% or more) and with a plant cover of usually less than 30%. R1 Unconsolidated Bottom Bottom of wetlands and deepwater habitats formed from unconsolidated substrates, viz.: cobbles, gravel, sand, mud or organic soils. R1 Aquatic bed These are wetlands and deepwater habitats in all systems, dominated by plants that grow principally on or below the surface of the water for most of the growing season. R2 Rocky Shore Shores composed primarily of bedrock, boulders, stones (75% or more) . R2 Unconsolidated Shore Shores formed from unconsolidated substrates, viz.: cobbles, gravel, sand, mud or organic soils. Riverine R3 Emergent Wetland Wetland that undergo periodic, though maybe prolonged, covering by water, and which are dominated by erect, rooted hydrophytes (but not mosses and lichens). All systems provide examples of these wetlands. Lacustrine L Rock bottom The bottom of wetland and deepwater habitats that is composed primarily of bedrock, boulders, stones (75% or more) and with a plant cover of usually less than 30%.
  34. 34. E:ICZM Sabah Project FILING SYSTEMInternational AdvisorsFlemming THNatural habitatNatural Habitats of Sabah WWW.doc Page 34 of 34 System Map classi- fication Classes Definition L Unconsolidated Bottom Bottom of wetlands and deepwater habitats formed from unconsolidated substrates, viz.: cobbles, gravel, sand, mud or organic soils. L Aquatic bed These are wetlands and deepwater habitats in all systems, dominated by plants that grow principally on or below the surface of the water for most of the growing season. L Rocky Shore Shores composed primarily of bedrock, boulders, stones (75% or more) . L Unconsolidated Shore Shores formed from unconsolidated substrates, viz.: cobbles, gravel, sand, mud or organic soils. L Emergent Wetland Wetland that undergo periodic, though maybe prolonged, covering by water, and which are dominated by erect, rooted hydrophytes (but not mosses and lichens). All systems provide examples of these wetlands. P1 Emergent Wetland Wetland that undergo periodic, though maybe prolonged, covering by water, and which are dominated by erect, rooted hydrophytes (but not mosses and lichens). All systems provide examples of these wetlands. P2 Scrub-scrub Wetland Scrub-scrub wetlands include all systems except the sub-tidal areas of the marine and estuarine systems, which are dominated by a cover of woody shrubs. These areas are often transitional areas before the development of forest. Palustrine P2 Forested Wetland Wetland characterised by a cover of forest, found in all water systems, but rarely in Marine and Lacustrine. Terrestrial F1 Lowland Dipterocarp Forest Non-wetland habitats characterised by the dominance of dipterocarp deciduous trees, on a dry and draining substrate.

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