13.3.1 Landscape Pattern Analysis
The trends of land cover change between years 2000, 2005, and 2010 in Cameron Highlands were varied for each class. Changes in land cover (Fig. 13.6) were derived from area estimates using land cover maps (Fig. 13.7).
Comparing three classification maps in general, the landscape change is not significant in the study area. Primary forest had increased slightly from year 2000 to year 2005, but decreased after that toward year 2010. This change demonstrated the recovery process of the secondary forest/shrubs in Cameron Highland and also in some part of the abandoned mixed agriculture area. The expansion of tea plantations is expected as shown in this study. Cameron Highland is the most famous tea producer in Malaysia where more than 2,000 ha of the highland is covered by tea plantations. According to Jamilah et al. (2006), the tea plantation landscape is the most preferred scene in Cameron Highlands. The scenic tea plantation view has been known ever since tea was introduced to Cameron Highlands in 1929. So, this land use has been maintained as the main scenic icon of Cameron Highlands and had increased in aerial extent gradually. It is noted that the other mixed agriculture/ residential/roads are showing a decreased trend in the study periods because of the transformation of this class into other land cover types such as secondary forest and tea plantations. Water body area showed a minor increase (less than 100 ha) from years 2000 to 2010.