Using spatially explicit, time-dependent analysis to understand how social factors influence conservation outcomes

Rebecca M. Niemiec, Greg P. Asner, Julie A. Gaertner, Philip G. Brodrick, Nick Vaughn, Joseph Heckler, Flint Hughes, Lisa Keith, Tracie Matsumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Conservation across human-dominated landscapes requires an understanding of the social and ecological factors driving outcomes. Studies that link conservation outcomes to social and ecological factors have examined temporally static patterns. However, there may be different social and ecological processes driving increases and decreases in conservation outcomes that can only be revealed through temporal analyses. Through a case study of the invasion of Falcataria moluccana in Hawaii, we examined the association of social factors with increases and decreases in invader distributions over time and space. Over 7 years, rates of invader decrease varied substantially (66–100%) relative to social factors, such as building value, whether land was privately or publically owned, and primary residence by a homeowner, whereas rates of increase varied only slightly (<0.1–3.6%) relative to such factors. These findings suggest that links between social factors and invasion in the study system may be driven more by landowners controlling existing invasive species, rather than by landowners preventing the spread of invasive species. We suggest that spatially explicit, time-dependent analyses provide a more nuanced understanding of the way social factors influence conservation outcomes. Such an understanding can help managers develop outreach programs and policies targeted at different types of landowners in human-dominated landscapes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-514
Number of pages10
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • cambio de uso de suelo
  • ecología urbana
  • especie invasora
  • invasive species
  • land-use change
  • private lands
  • remote sensing
  • teledetección
  • tierras privadas
  • urban ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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