The Use of GIS to Visualize Spatial Distribution of Zooplankton in Teluk Bahang Reservoir, Penang, Malaysia

  • Journal of Environmental Science and Management
  • Azma Hanim Ismail School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 11800, Malaysia
  • Azimah Abd Rahman
  • Lim Chiew Chin
Keywords: Penang, water quality, zooplankton, ArcMap, Inverse Distance Weighted, GIS


The Teluk Bahang Reservoir is the largest in Penang, Malaysia and supplies drinking water to the inhabitants of the Northwest of Penang Island. A monthly testing of water quality and study of zooplankton species abundance was conducted at four different sampling locations and three different water depths. The water quality parameters measured include water temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH, orthophosphate (PO4-P), ammonium-nitrogen (NH4-N), nitrite-nitrogen (NO2-N) and nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N). In this study, multiple techniques in ArcMap software, namely, Inverse Distance Weighted (IDW) and Kernel Density, were used to identify the relationship among water quality parameters and species abundance of zooplankton in the sampling stations. In GIS spatial analysis, high abundance areas or hotspot areas of zooplankton were presented in a visual map. The distribution pattern of zooplankton species and the geographic distribution of water quality parameters were clearly identified based on inspection of the map. The data generated from GIS mapping in this study is important for ecological research, particularly on zooplankton distribution in a drinking water reservoir.