A Conceptual Framework for the Management of a Highly Valued Invasive Tree in the Galapagos Islands

  • Gonzalo Rivas-TorresEmail author
  • Damian C. Adams
Part of the Social and Ecological Interactions in the Galapagos Islands book series (SESGI)


The increasing movement of people and resources around the planet has allowed numerous organisms to avoid natural dispersal barriers and become introduced to new sites. In some cases, introduced species become invasive, rapidly expanding their populations and becoming extremely noxious, causing significant ecological impacts and economic harm. Despite the many examples of negative ecological, social, and economic impacts from invasive species, their management may not be beneficial for all affected stakeholders. Perceived benefits for some stakeholders can complicate invasive species control and management and frustrate policy interventions if diverse stakeholders have opposing views about their positive or negative impacts.

Here, we use descriptive analysis, and survey and interview methods, to understand the case of the invasive and economically important tree Cedrela odorata in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, where the tree is viewed as both beneficial and harmful to stakeholders; explore the complex social, economic, and ecological aspects of invasive species management; and identify the stakeholders that will be impacted by potential managerial actions targeting this invasive tree. As a result, in this chapter we present a conceptual model of the socioecological landscape that can inform management of Cedrela by the Galapagos National Park. Using this model, we compare two competing policy alternatives that are being considered for adoption: (1) continued use of Cedrela for the local wood products market and (2) complete extraction and eradication of Cedrela within this protected area. Besides adding to the small but important literature on the socioecological impacts of invasive species management, this chapter also fills critical knowledge gaps on Cedrela impacts and alternative management approaches. Results of this study also have practical importance for the management of invasive species in the Galapagos Islands.


Cedrela odorata Galapagos National Park Invasive species Socioecological landscape 



We want to warmly thank the Galapagos National Park for the logistics provided to accomplish this study. We also want to thank Simon and Wilson Villamar for helping during surveys. Gonzalo Rivas-Torres’ graduate studies, which included this investigation, were supported by QSE-IGERT and Wildlife Ecology and Conservation programs at University of Florida. Travel expenses for Gonzalo Rivas-Torres were provided by the Ecuadorian Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación, and the Tropical Conservation and Development Program (UF). This study was conducted under guidelines provided by the University of Florida Institutional Review Board for Social and Behavioral Research. This investigation was the result of the Scientific Collaborative Agreement between the GNP and Gonzalo Rivas-Torres and was conducted under all regulation provided in the investigation permit No. PC-21-12 and regulated by GNP.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales and Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences, Universidad San Francisco de Quito-USFQQuitoEcuador
  2. 2.Galápagos Science Center UNC—USFQSan CristóbalEcuador
  3. 3.Courtesy Faculty, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Instituto BIOSFERA, USFQQuitoEcuador
  5. 5.School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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