WHY PEOPLE MAY LIKE INVASIVE SPECIES: INVESTIGATING BIOPHILIA IN BOTANICAL GARDENS ADJACENT TO NATURAL FOREST ECOSYSTEMS
Keywords:Forest management, conservation, exotic plant species, tropical forest, Likert scale
Botanical gardens are considered as part of tropical invasion pathway. The extent of management effort to minimise plant invasion may be determined by the attitude of people managing botanical gardens. Social aspect may become a hindrance for invasive species management because people may like invasive species for certain reasons. Thus, there is a need to examine aspects that motivate affection of stakeholders for invasive species to minimise conflict of interest during management implementation. In this study, social perceptions of invasive species from four Indonesian botanical gardens were recorded. These botanical gardens are maintaining exotic collection and are situated next to native forests. The objectives of this study were to examine the dominant biophilia-based perception types exhibited by staff of botanical gardens in relation to exotic collections in their botanical gardens and whether these perceptions correlated with demographic factors. In general, dominionistic type dominated social perception of botanical garden staff. There were only minor variations across demographic factors. These findings indicated that inspiration to manage and curiosity to learn about exotic species were main motivations behind biophilia-based perceptions in Indonesian botanical gardens. This valuable information may enhance the strategies to minimise conflict of interests among stakeholders in the management implementation of invasive species.