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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Invasive plants in Metro Vancouver : relationships between species occurrences and socio-economic factors, greenspace type, and the public’s risk perception Nguyen, Nguyet Anh


Effective management of invasive plants preserves biodiversity values, reduces economic costs, and minimizes negative impacts on human well-being. Prevention, the most cost-effective approach to invasive plant management, focuses on predicting species occurrences in high-risk areas and fosters the public’s awareness of invasive plants. This study aims to contribute to the aforementioned prevention foci by (1) investigating the relationships between invasive plants occurrences and socio-economic, greenspace, topographic, and land use variables, and (2) assessing the public’s levels of knowledge, risk perception, and support for invasive plant management in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I utilized invasive plants inventory, land use, topographic, and socio-economic data to identify key drivers of species occurrences. The chances of invasive plants occurrences were higher in wealthier neighbourhoods. The relationships between species occurrences and the tested explanatory variables were different across municipalities. Greenspace type was a surrogate for median household income, gardening expenses, and greenspace area. The results can inform managers of key drivers of invasive plants occurrences in Metro Vancouver, which can ultimately aid in species occurrence prediction efforts. An online survey in Metro Vancouver assessed the public’s levels of knowledge, risk perception, and support for management activities. I found that the public’s perception of invasive plants was ecologically oriented and positively correlated with age and income. The public highly supported community events or the planting of native species. Overall, the public’s risk perception assessment provides managers with insights on which aspects of invasive plants are well-known and which management activities are preferred by the public.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International