Factors Influencing Family Forest Owners' Interest in Community-led Collective Invasive Plant Management

Environ Manage. 2021 Jun;67(6):1088-1099. doi: 10.1007/s00267-021-01454-1. Epub 2021 Apr 5.


Effective invasive plant management requires collective action. However, little is known about what motivates individuals to work collectively. We conducted a mail survey of 2,600 randomly selected family forest owners in Indiana, USA to examine factors associated with community-led collective action. Specifically, we examined the role of perceived self-efficacy, perceived collective efficacy, concerns about invasive plants, and social norms associated with invasive plant management in shaping family forest owners' self-reported likelihood to work with their neighbors to remove invasive plants. We found that past experience talking to others or working with neighbors to remove invasive plants were important predictors of landowners' intention to work collectively, as were perceived self-efficacy in their own ability to manage invasive plants, perceived need for collective action, social norms, and concerns about invasive plants on neighboring or nearby properties. However, most socio-demographic characteristics (e.g., age, gender, education level, income) and land ownership characteristics (e.g., residence status, having a written forest management plan) were not statisically significant predictors of family forest owners' likelihood to work with their neighbors. Our findings suggest that building individual sense of competence, facilitating neighbor interactions, and strengthening shared concerns may facilitate community-led collective action to manage invasive plants.

Keywords: Collective action; Collective efficacy; Non-industrial private forest; Private landowner; Self-efficacy; Social norm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Forests*
  • Humans
  • Indiana
  • Ownership
  • Surveys and Questionnaires