Landscape structure in Indonesia

Landscape structure & ecosystem services sustainability: Landscape Model Analysis of the Design and Planning of Protected Areas in Bandung Basin.

Landscape structure and connectivity are important factors which affect the provision of ecosystem services. In the discourse of landscape ecology, however, there is a lack of studies assessing the influence of landscape structure on hydrological process. Moreover, only a few studies have been conducted that evaluate the effect of landscape composition and configuration on sustainability of ecosystem services in Indonesia.

This research aims to investigate potential landscape structure scenarios within and around protected areas forming part of two water catchment areas in Bandung Basin, West Java province, Indonesia. The objectives of this research are to simulate landscape structure changes under different development scenarios, assess scenario impacts on flood regulation using models, and determine the plant communities that can improve flood regulation in each protected area.

The research is conducted to answer these following questions:
(1) How does alteration of landscape structure within these water catchment areas affect flood regulation?
(2) What are the best scenarios of landscape structure to benefit flood regulation in these two protected areas and water catchment areas in the Bandung basin?
(3) Which types of plant community can improve flood regulation in each water catchment area?

Research strategy

Bandung Basin covers an area of 338,394 hectares, which comprises of two cities and three regencies. The area is surrounded by seven protected areas in mountains and hills which are part of six water catchment areas. The basin suffers from flood every year. Flooding is affected by the degradation of regulating services in the catchment area and heavy sedimentation in its main rivers. Natural landscape fragmentation within water catchment areas, derived from high demand for new settlement and land for agriculture, accelerates degradation of ecosystem services. Tourism activities and development of new facilities also contribute to alteration of landscape structure.

This research consists of three phases of study:

  1. developing land cover maps for each water catchment area using SPOT 6 satellite images based on the field survey
  2. simulating future land use scenarios using the Envision model
  3. assessing flood risk using MIKE-SHE hydrologic model.

The two case studies are Ci Kapundung and Ci Sangkuy water catchment areas, consisting of rugged terrain with an elevation varying between 800 and 2250 m above mean sea level. The areas are covered predominantly by agriculture, settlements, and forest. The study areas encompass the Taman Hutan Raya (THR) Ir. H. Djuanda protected area in the northern part of the Bandung Basin and Cagar Alam (CA) Tilu Mountain protected area in the southern part of the basin. Both protected areas were established with distinctive purposes and management objectives, and demonstrate typical problems found in tropical forest protected areas in an urbanized region.


Map of Ci Sangkuy water catchment area using SPOT satellite data of the water catchment area (purchased from Airbus Defence and Space). Contour lines were derived from Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data from SRTM (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission) 1 Arc-Second Global, USGS (United States Geological Survey). Annotated in Photoshop by the author.


In the first phase of study, water catchment areas were delineated based on Digital Elevation Model (DTM) data. A field survey was conducted to identify plant communities on a designated number of plots, and their locations recorded using GPS. Object-based image classification method in ArcGIS will be utilized after atmospheric and topographic correction have been performed on the SPOT 6 satellite images from 2013 and 2015.

Three scenarios of future landscape structure will be developed in Envision model:

Status Quo

Managed Growth

Unconstrained Growth.

These scenarios have different development policies across the municipalities to simulate future landscape structure in the two water catchment areas. The MIKE-SHE model will be utilized to assess the hydrological responses of each development scenario. The hydrology simulation results from each landscape structure scenario will be compared to assess which scenario could benefit from flood regulation. This comparative analysis process addresses the research questions by assessing the composition and the spatial configuration of each landscape element or plant community which influences the runoff generating process in the case studies.

Expected contribution to landscape ecology research and previous studies in Indonesia

It is hoped that the findings of this research can contribute to landscape ecology research in identifying how a specific landscape design could sustain ecosystem services at the landscape scale, and how the rate of services changes with different settings and scales of landscape.

This research studies plant communities in Indonesia in relation to benefitting flood regulation at a catchment scale. It is anticipated that results from this research will add to previous studies and initiate the development of landscape design and planning to inform guidelines for protected areas and water catchments areas in the Bandung Basin.

This research is undertaken by PhD candidate Medria Shekar Rani at the Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield, with supervision by Dr Ross Cameron, and Dr Olaf Schroth.


Haryanto, E. T., Herwanto, T., & Kendarto, D. R. (2010). Perubahan bentuk penggunaan lahan dan implikasinya terhadap koefisien air larian das citarum hulu jawa-barat. Bandung: Universitas Padjajaran


Wibowo, M. (2005). Analisis Pengaruh Perubahan Penggunaan Lahan terhadap Debit Sungai (Studi Kasus Sub-DAS Cikapundung Gandok, Bandung). Tek.Ling. P3TL-BPPT. 6(1), 283-290.


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