The Relationship of Knowledge, Attitudes, and Perceptions Regarding Non-native Texas Invasive Plant Species

in HortScience
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  • 1 Sam Houston State University, Agricultural Sciences, Huntsville, TX, 77340

Plants have been introduced into the United States intentionally as well as unintentionally as seeds and weeds. Technological advances, a mobile society, and our curiosity and desire to improve our landscapes have led to an ever-increasing invasive movement. These alien plants can jeopardize native populations, alter ecosystems, alter fire and water regimes, change the nutrient status, modify habitats, and cause significant economic harm. Today's public is unaware of the danger some non-native plants species pose to natural areas, thereby contributing to the lack of control for non-native invasive plants. This study looked at the knowledge and attitudes of Texas Master Gardeners as related to invasive species commonly used in landscaping. A web survey was made available to all Texas Master Gardeners that included pictures of plants along with their common and scientific names. Participants were asked to identify which they thought were invasive and contribute information regarding their knowledge of non-native invasive plants. Each of the invasive plants shown is on both the federal and the Texas Invasive Plant lists. Inquires were made concerning the occurrence of these plants in the participants' personal landscape and communities and their perceptions of each plant as an invasive threat. The purpose of the study is to determine if a relationship exists between knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of the participant and the occurrence of non-native invasive plants in the landscape. The results of this study will help determine factors that contribute to the lack of control for non-native invasive plants.