Biological Invasions

, Volume 17, Issue 12, pp 3433–3453 | Cite as

How environmental managers perceive and approach the issue of invasive species: the case of Japanese knotweed s.l. (Rhône River, France)

  • Marylise CottetEmail author
  • Florence Piola
  • Yves-François Le Lay
  • Soraya Rouifed
  • Anne Rivière-Honegger
Original Paper


Studying the perceptions of stakeholders or interested parties is a good way to better understand behaviours and decisions. This is especially true for the management of invasive species such as Japanese knotweed s.l. This plant has spread widely in the Rhône basin, where significant financial resources have been devoted to its management. However, no control technique is recognized as being particularly effective. Many uncertainties remain and many documents have been produced by environmental managers to disseminate current knowledge about the plant and its management. This article aims at characterizing the perceptions that environmental managers have of Japanese knotweed s.l. A discourse analysis was conducted on the printed documentation produced about Japanese knotweed s.l. by environmental managers working along the Rhône River (France). The corpus was both qualitatively and quantitatively analysed. The results indicated a diversity of perceptions depending on the type of environmental managers involved, as well as the geographical areas and scales on which they acted. Whereas some focused on general knowledge relating to the origins and strategies of colonization, others emphasized the diversity and efficacy of the prospective eradication techniques. There is a real interest in implementing targeted actions to meet local issues. To do so, however, these issues must be better defined. This is a challenging task, as it must involve all types of stakeholders.


Discourse analyses Environmental managers Invasive species Japanese knotweed s.lManagement Perceptions 



We thank the anonymous referees for their helpful comments. We are grateful to the regional water agency (in partnership with the LTER-ZABR) and the IngECOTech programme (INEE-CNRS) for funding and supporting this research. We extend our appreciation to Céline Cordani, who collected the data during a master 1 internship and also participated in the first discussions, to Hervé Tronchère for his help with Fig. 2, and to John Stella for his valuable reading and comments. We finally wish to thank all environmental managers who took the time to gather the documentation included in our analysis corpus.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marylise Cottet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Florence Piola
    • 2
  • Yves-François Le Lay
    • 1
  • Soraya Rouifed
    • 2
  • Anne Rivière-Honegger
    • 1
  1. 1.UMR 5600 “Environnement, Ville, Société”, CNRS, Université de LyonENS de LyonLyon Cedex 07France
  2. 2.UMR 5023 LEHNA, CNRS, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1ENTPEVilleurbanne CedexFrance

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