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Ambio. 2018 Mar 23. doi: 10.1007/s13280-018-1046-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Invasive forest pathogens in Europe: Cross-country variation in public awareness but consistency in policy acceptability.

Author information

1
Department of Geography and Economic History, Umeå University, 901 87, Umeå, Sweden. louise.eriksson@umu.se.
2
Department of Psychology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. louise.eriksson@umu.se.
3
Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7026, 750 07, Uppsala, Sweden.
4
Department of Forest Protection, Phytopathology, Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW), Seckendorff-Gudent-Weg 8, 1131, Vienna, Austria.
5
Phytophthora Research Centre, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Mendel University in Brno, Zemědělská 3, 613 00, Brno, Czech Republic.
6
Department of Forest Protection, Phytopathology, Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW), Vienna, Austria.
7
UMR1202 BIOGECO, INRA, University Bordeaux, 33610, Cestas, France.
8
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, PO Box 115, 1431, Ås, Norway.
9
Laboratory of Molecular Biotechnology and Phytopathology, Centre for Mediterranean Bioresources and Food, University of Algarve, Algarve, Portugal.
10
Department of Botany, Faculty of Forestry, Süleyman Demirel University, 32600, Isparta, Turkey.
11
Department of Forest Entomology and Protection, Faculty of Forestry, Çankırı Karatekin University, 18200, Çankırı, Turkey.
12
Biotic Stress Group, AgroBioInstitute, Agricultural Academy, 8 Dragan Tzankov Blvd., 1164, Sofia, Bulgaria.
13
Department of Crop and Forest Sciences, ETSEA, University of Lleida, Av. Alcalde Rovira Roure, 191, 25198, Lleida, Spain.
14
Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.

Abstract

Political action can reduce introductions of diseases caused by invasive forest pathogens (IPs) and public support is important for effective prevention. The public's awareness of IP problems and the acceptability of policies aiming to combat these pathogens were surveyed in nine European countries (N = 3469). Although awareness of specific diseases (e.g., ash dieback) varied, problem awareness and policy acceptability were similar across countries. The public was positive towards policies for informational measures and stricter standards for plant production, but less positive towards restricting public access to protected areas. Multilevel models, including individual and country level variables, revealed that media exposure was positively associated with awareness of IP problems, and strengthened the link between problem awareness and policy acceptability. Results suggest that learning about IPs through the media and recognizing the associated problems increase policy acceptability. Overall, the study elaborates on the anthropogenic dimension of diseases caused by IPs.

KEYWORDS:

Media; Multilevel models; Problem awareness; Risk experience; Tree diseases

PMID:
29572607
DOI:
10.1007/s13280-018-1046-7

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