Assessing Land Cover Changes and CO2 Emissions in Tropical Forests, 1998-2016: A Case Study of the Sungai Wain Protection Forest
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Faculty of Environmental Management, Prince of Songkla University, Songkla, Thailand
Social Forestry and Environmental Partnership Agency, Ministry of the Environment and Forestry of Indonesia, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Research Institute for Natural Resources Conservation Technology, Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia, East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Faculty of Forestry, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Narissara Nuthammachot   

Faculty of Environmental management, Prince of Songkla Univercity,Thailand, P.O. Box 50 Kho Hong, 90112 Hat Yai, Thailand
Submission date: 2018-07-14
Final revision date: 2018-08-27
Acceptance date: 2018-09-04
Online publication date: 2019-05-14
Publication date: 2019-07-08
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2019;28(5):3597–3604
Tropical forests have long been known for being home to a huge biodiversity of plants, animals and microbes. Nevertheless, one of the most dangerous threats to the existence of tropical forests is fire. Fire in tropical forests does not only devastate the forest structure and biodiversity, but it also releases huge amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere. This study aims to observe land cover changes in the Sungai Wain Protection Forest (SWPF) via Landsat multitemporal data from 1998 to 2016 and to calculate their resulting emissions. The findings showed that the total area affected by forest fire during this period was 6,400 ha, which amounts to 5,000 and 1,400 ha of lost forest in 1998 and 2015, respectively. The potential of CO2 emissions due to aboveground biomass (AGB) loss was 4.66 Tg during that period. This study also showed that SWPF was able to recover naturally after the 1998 fire. Fires in 2015 mostly occured in regenerating forests, implying that it is more flammable than primary forests. As an implication, the fire phenomenon is still threatening the SWPF because it has potential value to cut down succession from regenerating to primary forests.