Human Dimensions of Invasive Grasses

  • Mark W. BrunsonEmail author
  • Halley Kartchner
Part of the Springer Series on Environmental Management book series (SSEM)


Invasive species are problems because of people. Whether these species are introduced accidentally or purposefully, human activities inevitably influence their spread. Disturbance processes and control options are affected by economic, political, and social factors as well as by biological ones. To understand the dynamics of invasion and potential for resilience and resistance, one must also understand the role of human processes. In this chapter, we focus first on individual perceptions and behaviors, exploring how perceptions of exotic invasive species can vary such that one group of stakeholders may actively seek to eliminate an invader while others find it useful. We also describe how people perceive practices used to control exotic annual grasses or reduce their spread. We then shift from individual-level to institutional concerns, reviewing how exotic annual grasses have been treated in US laws and regulations and how environmental policies and politics may complicate restoration efforts. We also explore how voluntary control efforts operate alongside regulatory efforts. We discuss how education activities have affected perceptions, review strengths and weaknesses of different outreach approaches, and describe an educational approach that may prove useful for shifting attention toward annual invasive grasses from curiosity to concern to action. Finally, we discuss the critical role of trust and trust-building efforts in addressing invasive species issues across landscapes.


Attitudes Collaborative management Education Regulatory policy Trust 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environment and SocietyUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

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