Environmental Management

, 43:1244

An Assessment of Stakeholder Perceptions and Management of Noxious Alien Plants in Spain

Article

Abstract

Despite biological invasions being a worldwide phenomenon causing significant ecological, economic, and human welfare impacts, there is limited understanding regarding how environmental managers perceive the problem and subsequently manage alien species. Spanish environmental managers were surveyed using questionnaires to (1) analyze the extent to which they perceive plant invasions as a problem; (2) identify the status, occurrence, and impacts of noxious alien plant species; (3) assess current effort and expenditure targeting alien plant management; and, finally, (4) identify the criteria they use to set priorities for management. In comparison to other environmental concerns, plant invasions are perceived as only moderately problematic and mechanical control is the most valued and frequently used strategy to cope with plant invasions in Spain. Based on 70 questionnaires received, 193 species are considered noxious, 109 of which have been the subject of management activities. More than 90% of species are found in at least one protected area. According to respondents, the most frequently managed species are the most widespread across administrative regions and the ones perceived as causing the highest impacts. The perception of impact seems to be independent of their invasion status, since only half of the species identified as noxious are believed to be invasive in Spain, while 43% of species thought to only be casual aliens are causing a high impact. Records of management costs are poor and the few data indicate that the total actual expenditure amounted to 50,492,437 € in the last decade. The majority of respondents stated that management measures are insufficient to control alien plants due to limited economic resources, lack of public awareness and support, and an absence of coordination among different public administrations. Managers also expressed their concern about the fact that much scientific research is concerned with the ecology of alien plants rather than with specific cost-efficient strategies to manage alien species.

Keywords

Biological invasions Ecological impact Environmental perception Invasive plants Mediterranean ecosystems Protected areas Spain Weed 

References

  1. Bardsley D, Edwards-Jones G (2006) Stakeholders’ perceptions of the impacts of invasive exotic plant species in the Mediterranean region. GeoJournal 65:199–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bardsley D, Edwards-Jones G (2007) Invasive species policy and climate change: social perceptions of environmental change in the Mediterranean. Environmental Science & Policy 10:230–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Binimelis R, Born W, Monterroso I, Rodríguez-Labajos B (2007) Socio-economic impact and assessment of biological invasions. In: Nentwig W (ed) Biological invasions. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp 9–15Google Scholar
  4. Born W, Rauschmayer F, Bräuer I (2005) Economic evaluation of biological invasions—a survey. Ecological Economics 55:321–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brauer I (2003) Money as an indicator: to make use of economic evaluation for biodiversity conservation. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 98(1–3):483–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Capdevila-Argüelles L, Iglesias A, Orueta JF, Zelletti B (2006) Especies exóticas invasoras: diagnóstico y bases para la prevención y el manejo. Organismo Autónomo de Parques Nacionales, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, MadridGoogle Scholar
  7. Child LE, Wade M, Wagner M (1998) Cost effective control of Fallopia japonica using combination treatments. In: Starfinger U, Edwards K, Kowarik I, Williamson M (eds) Plant invasions: ecological mechanisms and human responses. Backhuys, Leiden, pp 143–154Google Scholar
  8. Costanza R, d’Arge R, de Groot R, Farber S, Grasso M, Hannon B, Naeem S, Limburg K, Paruelo J, O’Neill RV, Raskin R, Sutton P, van den Belt M (1997) The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387:253–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Daehler CC (2008) Invasive plant problems in the Hawaiian Islands and beyond: insights from history and psychology. In: Tokarska-Guzik B, Brock JH, Brundu G, Child L, Daehler CC, Pyšek P (eds) Plant invasions: human perception, ecological impacts and management. Backhuys, Leiden, pp 3–19Google Scholar
  10. Dana ED, Sanz-Elorza M, Sobrino E (2003) New alien species in Almería province (south-eastern Spain). Lagascalia 23:166–170Google Scholar
  11. Dehnen-Schumutz K, Perrings C, Williamson M (2004) Controlling Rhododendron ponticum in the British Isles: an economic analysis. Journal of Environmental Management 70:323–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. De Poorter M (2001) Perception and “human nature” as factors in invasive alien species issues: a workshop wrap-up on problems and solutions. In: McNeely JA (ed) The great reshuffling. Human dimensions of invasive alien species. IUCN, Cambridge, UK, pp 209–213Google Scholar
  13. García-Llorente M, Martín-López B, González JA, Alcorlo P, Montes C (2008) Social perceptions of the impacts and benefits of invasive alien species: implications for management. Biological Conservation 141:2969–2983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hulme PE (2003) Biological invasions: Winning the science battles but losing the conservation war? Oryx 37:178–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hulme PE (2006) Beyond control: wider implications for the management of biological invasions. Journal of Applied Ecology 43:835–847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hulme PE (2007) Biological invasions in Europe: drivers, pressures, states, impacts and responses. In: Hester R, Harrison RM (eds) Biodiversity under threat. Issues in environmental science and technology. Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, pp 56–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hulme PE, Bremner ET (2006) Assessing the impact of Impatiens glandulifera on riparian habitats: partitioning diversity components following species removal. Journal of Applied Ecology 43:43–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hulme PE, Brundu G, Camarda I, Dalias P, Lambdon P, Lloret F, Medail F, Moragues E, Suehs C, Traveset A, Troumbis A, Vilà M (2008) Assessing the risks to Mediterranean islands ecosystems from alien plant introductions. In: Tokarska-Guzik B, Brock JH, Brundu G, Child L, Daehler CC, Pyšek P (eds) Plant invasions: human perception, ecological impacts and management. Backhuys, Leiden, pp 39–56Google Scholar
  19. Kowarik I, Schepker H (1998) Plant invasions in northern Germany: human perception and response. In: Starfinger U, Edwards K, Kowarik I, Williamson M (eds) Plant invasions: ecological mechanisms and human responses. Backhuys, Leiden, pp 109–120Google Scholar
  20. Křivánek M (2006) Biologické invaze a možnosti jejich předpovědi (Predikční modely pro stanovení invazního potenciálu vyšších rostlin). Acta Pruhoniciana 84:83–92Google Scholar
  21. Lambdon PW, Lloret F, Hulme PE (2008a) Do non-native species invasions lead to biotic homogenization at small-scales? Similarity and functional diversity of habitats compared for the alien and native components of Mediterranean floras. Diversity and Distributions 14:774–785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lambdon PW, Lloret F, Hulme PE (2008b) Do alien plants on Mediterranean islands tend to invade different niches from native species? Biological Invasions 10:703–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Larson BMH (2007) An alien approach to invasive species: objectivity and society in invasion biology. Biological invasions 9:947–956CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lodge DM, Williams S, MacIsaac HJ, Hayes KR, Leung B, Reichard S, Mack RN, Moyle PB, Smith M, Andow DA, Carlton JT, McMichael A (2006) Biological invasions: recommendations for US policy and management. Ecological Applications 16(6):2035–2054CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mack RN, Simberloff D, Lonsdale WM, Evans H, Clout M, Bazzaz FA (2000) Biotic invasions:causes, epidemiology, global consequences and control. Ecological Applications 10:689–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Martín B (2001) Marc institucional i legal de la introducció d’espècies exòtiques. Bachelor in Environmental Science. Final Project by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (unpublished)Google Scholar
  27. McConnachie AJ, de Wit MP, Hill MP, Byrne MJ (2003) Economic evaluation of the successful biological control of Azolla filiculoides in South Africa. Biological Control 28:25–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McNeely J (2001) Invasive species: a costly catastrophe for native biodiversity. Land Use and Water Resources Research 1(2):1–10Google Scholar
  29. Moody M, Mack R (1988) Controlling the spread of plant invasions: the importance of nascent foci. Journal of Applied Ecology 25:1009–1021CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Nielsen C, Ravn HP, Nentwig W, Wade M (2005) The giant hogweed best practice manual. Guidelines for the management and control of invasive weeds in Europe forest and landscape. Hørsholm, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
  31. Parker IM, Simberloff D, Lonsdale WM, Goodell K, Wonham M, Kareiva PM, Williamsom MH, Von Holle B, Moyle PB, Byers JE, Goldwasser L (1999) Impact: toward a framework for understanding the ecological effects of invaders. Biological Invasions 1:3–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Perrins J, Williamson M, Fitter A (1992) A survey of differing views of weed classification: implications for regulation of introductions. Biological Conservation 60:47–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pimentel D, Zuniga R, Morrison D (2005) Update on the environmental and economic costs associated with alien-invasive species in the United States. Ecological Economics 52:273–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Pyšek P, Richardson DM, Rejmánek M, Webster GL, Williamson M, Kirschner J (2004) Alien plants in checklists and floras: towards better communication between taxonomists and ecologists. Taxon 53:131–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pyšek P, Richardson DM, Jarosik V (2006) Who cites who in the invasion zoo: insights from an analysis of the most highly cited papers in invasion ecology. Preslia 78(4):437–468Google Scholar
  36. Reinhardt F, Herle M, Bastiansen F, Streit B (2003) Ökonomische Folgen der Ausbreitung von gebietsfremden Organismen in Deutschland. Umweltbundesamt, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  37. Ricciardi A, Cohen J (2007) The invasiveness of an introduced species does not predict its impact. Biological Invasions 9:309–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sanz-Elorza M, Dana ED, Sobrino E (2004) Atlas de las Plantas Alóctonas Invasoras en España. Dirección General para la Biodiversidad, Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, MadridGoogle Scholar
  39. Sanz-Elorza M, Sobrino E (2002) Plantes vasculars del quadrat UTM 31TCF34 Cambrils. In: ORCA: Catàlegs florístics locals. Institut d’ Estudis Catalans, Barcelona, pp 13Google Scholar
  40. Settele J, Hammen V, Hulme P, Karlson U, Klotz S, Kotarac M, Kunin W, Marion G, O’Connor M, Petanidou T, Peterson K, Potts S, Pritchard H, Pyšek P, Rounsevell M, Spangenberg J, Steffan–Dewenter I, Sykes M, Vighi M, Zobel M, Kühn I (2005) ALARM—Assessing LArge-scale environmental Risks for biodiversity with tested Methods. GAIA—Ecological Perspectives in Science, Humanities and Economics 14(1):69–72Google Scholar
  41. Shaw RH (2003) Biological control of invasive weeds in the UK: opportunities and challenges. In: Child LE, Brock JH, Brundu G, Prach K, Pyšek P, Wade PM, Williamson M (eds) Plant invasions: ecological threats and management solutions. Backhuys, Leiden, pp 337–354Google Scholar
  42. Simberloff D (2003) Eradication—preventing invasions at the outset. Weed Science 51(2):247–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Smith RG, Maxwell BD, Menalled FD, Rew LJ (2006) Lessons from agriculture may improve the management of invasive plants in wildland systems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4(8):428–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. StatSoft, Inc. (2001) STATISTICA (data analysis software system), version 6.0. Available at: www.statsoft.com
  45. Taylor CM, Hastings A (2004) Finding optimal control strategies for invasive species: a density-structured model for Spartina alterniflora. Journal of Applied Ecology 41(6):1049–1057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Vilà M, Basnou C, Pyšek P, Josefsson M, Genovesi P, Gollasch S, Nentwig W, Olenin S, Roques A, Roy D, Hulme PE, DAISIE partners (2008a) How well do we understand the impacts of alien species on ecosystem services? A pan-European cross-taxa assessment. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment (in press)Google Scholar
  47. Vilà M, Siamantziouras A, Brundu G, Camarda I, Lambdon P, Médail F, Moragues E, Suehs CM, Traveset A, Troumbis AY, Hulme PE (2008b) Widespread resistance of Mediterranean island ecosystems to the establishment of three alien species. Diversity and Distributions 14:839–851CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Vitousek PM, D’Antonio CM, Loope LL, Rejmanek M, Westerbrooks R (1997) Introduced species: a significant component of human-caused global change. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 21(1):1–16Google Scholar
  49. Wadsworth RA, Collingham YC, Willis SG, Huntley B, Hulme PE (2000) Simulating the spread and management of alien riparian weeds: Are they out of control? Journal of Applied Ecology 37:28–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Westman WE (1990) Park management of exotic plant species: problems and issues. Conservation Biology 4(3):251–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Williamson M (1998) Measuring the impact of plant invaders in Britain. In: Starfinger U, Kowarik I, Williamson M (eds) Plant invasions: ecological mechanisms and human responses. Backhuys, Leiden, pp 57–68Google Scholar
  52. Williamson M (2002) Alien plants in the British Isles. In: Pimentel D (ed) Biological invasions. Economic and environmental costs of alien plant, animal and microbe species. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp 91–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zavaleta E (2000) The economic value of controlling an invasive shrub. Ambio 29(8):462–467Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jara Andreu
    • 1
  • Montserrat Vilà
    • 2
  • Philip E. Hulme
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry ApplicationsUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterra, BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC)SevillaSpain
  3. 3.The Bio-Protection Research CentreLincoln UniversityCanterburyNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations