Beasts or beauties? Laypersons’ perception of invasive alien plant species in Switzerland and attitudes towards their management

  • This study investigated laypersons’ perception of invasive alien plant species (IAPS) and attitudes towards their management with the help of a written questionnaire in the cities of Zurich, Geneva, and Lugano, Switzerland. Survey participants (n = 720) judged attractiveness from certain species on visual contact (eight IAPS were shown as photographs). Trachycarpus fortunei and Ludwigia grandiflora were liked most, while Ambrosia artemisiifolia was clearly disliked most. With the exception of Trachycarpus fortunei, all plant species were perceived as rather ordinary, familiar and native to Switzerland, and feelings of ordinariness, familiarity and nativeness were positively correlated. Few participants could correctly identify the species depicted. Knowledge of an IAPS (ability to identify it) and desire to have it around were negatively correlated. Participants agreed most with the eradication of IAPS that cause serious costs and problems. However, people were rather unwilling to remove Buddleja davidii, Solidago canadensis, and Trachycarpus fortunei which are already widely established ornamentals in settlement areas or gardens. Overall, willingness to remove an IAPS and to report it to the authorities decreased with increasing desirability (and thus beauty) of a species.

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Author:Petra Lindemann-Matthies
Parent Title (English):NeoBiota
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2016
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/01/23
Tag:Invasive alien plant species; Switzerland; management; public attitudes; public perception
Page Number:19
First Page:15
Last Page:33
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:NeoBiota / NeoBiota 29
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0