People's knowledge and risk perceptions of invasive plants in metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Effective management of invasive plants conserves biodiversity values, reduces economic costs, and minimizes negative impacts on human health. Fostering people's awareness of invasive plants is one of the most cost-effective approaches in preventing the spread and introduction of invasive plants. Therefore, this study aims to understand (1) people's knowledge and risk perceptions, (2) associations between risk perceptions and demographics, and (3) people's willingness to support current management strategies in the Metro Vancouver region, British Columbia, Canada. An online survey was carried out and received 356 responses across the region. We found that people's knowledge and risk perceptions of invasive plants were ecologically oriented. Older respondents perceived higher risks of invasive plants. Among respondents of the same age, annual income higher than $50,000 was associated with higher levels of risk perception. Respondents who had professional and/or recreational group memberships perceived higher economic risks. Respondents highly supported activities that they could take part in directly, such as community invasive pulls and native species planting. Overall, our findings aid managers in allocating appropriate funding or tailoring outreach efforts to different aspects of invasive plants as well as groups/communities where people's knowledge and risk perceptions of invasive plants are low.