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Connecting human-nature relationships to environmental behaviors that minimize the spread of aquatic invasive species

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Abstract and Figures

Management of aquatic invasive species (AIS) is widely recognized as a global conservation concern driven by myriad factors, particularly individual behaviors. A burgeoning literature focused on the human dimensions of AIS has begun to provide insight into the complexities of behavior change; however, most studies are bound to specific geographic locales and have prevented resource management agencies from making regionally valid statements about the anthropogenic factors contributing to biological invasions. We examined stakeholders’ awareness and knowledge of AIS transmission in an evaluation of educational outreach campaign logos and illustrated how human–nature relationships were related to behaviors relevant to AIS reduction at two case study sites. Drawing from a thematic analysis of data from semi-structured interviews with organisms-in- trade hobbyists and recreational water users in the state of Illinois, we observed high awareness of environmental impacts and modes of transmission by the two groups. Both awareness advanced through AIS outreach and a diversity of human–nature relationships were helpful for understanding reported environmental behaviors. Specifically, stakeholders’ views of their relationships with nature affected decisions to engage in activities that contributed to social-ecological change. Results also revealed preferences for national rather than state-level outreach campaign logos, which carry implications for designing communication strategies that will minimize the likelihood of biological invasions in freshwater ecosystems.
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ORIGINAL PAPER
Connecting human–nature relationships to environmental
behaviors that minimize the spread of aquatic invasive
species
Catherine Kemp .Carena J. van Riper .Lama BouFajreldin .
William P. Stewart .Jarrod Scheunemann .Riyan J. G. van den Born
Received: 30 May 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published online: 19 April 2017
Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017
Abstract Management of aquatic invasive species
(AIS) is widely recognized as a global conservation
concern driven by myriad factors, particularly indi-
vidual behaviors. A burgeoning literature focused on
the human dimensions of AIS has begun to provide
insight into the complexities of behavior change;
however, most studies are bound to specific geo-
graphic locales and have prevented resource manage-
ment agencies from making regionally valid
statements about the anthropogenic factors contribut-
ing to biological invasions. We examined stakehold-
ers’ awareness and knowledge of AIS transmission in
an evaluation of educational outreach campaign logos
and illustrated how human–nature relationships were
related to behaviors relevant to AIS reduction at two
case study sites. Drawing from a thematic analysis of
data from semi-structured interviews with organisms-
in-trade hobbyists and recreational water users in the
state of Illinois, we observed high awareness of
environmental impacts and modes of transmission by
the two groups. Both awareness advanced through AIS
outreach and a diversity of human–nature relation-
ships were helpful for understanding reported envi-
ronmental behaviors. Specifically, stakeholders’
views of their relationships with nature affected
decisions to engage in activities that contributed to
social-ecological change. Results also revealed pref-
erences for national rather than state-level outreach
campaign logos, which carry implications for design-
ing communication strategies that will minimize the
likelihood of biological invasions in freshwater
ecosystems.
Keywords Invasive species Environmental
behavior Human dimensions Freshwater
ecosystems
Introduction
Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are increasingly
changing the face of ecosystems, local economies,
and human well-being (Pimentel et al. 2005; Pagnucco
et al. 2015). Numerous outreach programs are being
C. Kemp C. J. van Riper (&)
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental
Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1101
S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, USA
e-mail: cvanripe@illinois.edu
W. P. Stewart
Parks and Environmental Behavior Research Group,
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA
L. BouFajreldin
Illinois Natural History Survey, USA
J. Scheunemann
Office of Recreation and Park Resources, University of
Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA
R. J. G. van den Born
Institute of Science, Innovation and Society, Radboud
University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
123
Biol Invasions (2017) 19:2059–2074
DOI 10.1007/s10530-017-1418-0
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
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