Document Type : CASE STUDY


1 Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

2 Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

3 Department of Environmental Management, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia


Predicting land use change is an indispensable aspect in identifying the best development and management of land resources and their potential. This study used certified land-use maps of 1997, 2006, and 2015 combined with ancillary data such as road networks, water bodies and slopes, obtained from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Surveying and Mapping in Malaysia, respectively. The prediction of future land use changes in the Selangor River basin in Malaysia was performed using the Cellular Automata Markov model. The transition probability matrices were computed using the land use conditions of the periods 1997-2006, 2006-2015, 1997-2015. The performance of the model was very good in its overall ability to simulate the actual land use map of 2015, with the index values of 0.92% and 0.97%, respectively for Kappa for no information and Kappa for grid-cell level location which indicated the reliability of the model to successfully simulate land use changes in 2024 and 2033. Based on the expected results, the future urban area will grow faster (33%) over the next two decades, leading to a decline in forest area that is expected to lose 8% of its total space during these periods. Agricultural land will increase to 4%, while water bodies will change slightly increasing to 1%, and other areas of land use will likely become reservoirs of water, topsoil or new green spaces shrinking at 30%. Given the importance of knowledge of future land use in addressing the problems of uncontrolled development on environmental quality, this study could be valuable for land use planners of the river basin largely covered by natural forest. The study however, suggests future research to integrate geospatial techniques with biophysical and socio-economic factors in simulating land use trends.

Graphical Abstract

Integrating cellular automata Markov model to simulate future land use change of a tropical basin


  • The integrated CA-Markov model was applied to simulate future land use change in the river basin;
  • Urban area within the basin is expected to increase more rapidly over the next two decades;
  • Forest land would be gradually impacted by rapid urbanization and development projects;
  • The study suggests that the control policy of urban expansion within the basin and its associated environmental risks be strengthen.


Main Subjects

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