Social and Cultural Dynamics of Non-native Invasive SpeciesThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Invasive species and their management represent a complex issue spanning social and ecological systems. Invasive species present existing and potential threats to the nature of ecosystems and the products and services that people receive from them. Humans can both cause and address problems through their complex interactions with ecosystems. Yet, public awareness of invasive species and their impact is highly uneven, and public support for management and control of invasive species can be variable. Public perceptions often differ markedly from the perspectives of concerned scientists, and perceptions and support for management are influenced by a wide range of social and ecological values. In this chapter, we present a broad survey of social science research across a diversity of ecosystems and stakeholders in order to provide a foundation for understanding the social and cultural dimensions of invasive species and plan more effective management approaches. This chapter also addresses tribal perspectives on invasive species, including traditional ecological knowledge, unique cultural dimensions for tribes, and issues critical to engaging tribes as partners and leaders in invasive species management. Recognizing that natural resource managers often seek to change people’s perceptions and behaviors, we present and discuss some promising approaches that are being used to engage human communities in ways that empower and enlist stakeholders as partners in management.