Motivating residents to combat invasive species on private lands: Social norms and community reciprocity

Rebecca M. Niemiec, Nicole M. Ardoin, Candace B. Wharton, Gregory P. Asner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Invasive species (IS) threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. To achieve landscape-scale reductions in IS and the associated gains for biodiversity, IS control efforts must be expanded across private lands. Enhancing IS control across private lands requires an understanding of the factors that motivate residents to engage or prohibit residents from engaging in efforts to control IS. Drawing from the collective interest model and literature, we sought to understand how a wide range of interpersonal, intrapersonal, and contextual factors might influence resident action around combating the invasive tree albizia (Falcataria moluccana), in the Puna District of Hawaiʻi. To do so, we used a cross-sectional survey of 243 residents and elastic net regression techniques. We found that residents’ actions related to IS control were related to their perceptions of social norms and community reciprocity regarding albizia control, as well as their knowledge of effective control strategies and their risk perceptions regarding albizia. These findings suggest that, although common intervention approaches that focus on providing education or subsidies are important, they may be more effective at reducing the spread of IS if coupled with approaches that build community reciprocity and norms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number30
JournalEcology and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Community-based conservation
  • Conservation
  • Environmental behavior
  • Hawaiʻi
  • Invasive species
  • Private lands

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Motivating residents to combat invasive species on private lands: Social norms and community reciprocity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this