Non-native species and the aesthetics of nature
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How humans perceive and judge nature and relate it to their life is shaped by emotional, cognitive, cultural, and social factors. Whether a species is considered native, non-native, or invasive can affect such aesthetics of nature by interacting with our emotions, affronting or confirming our cognitive categories, or engaging in our social, economic, and cultural worlds. Consequently, how humans perceive and judge the presence of such species, or how they judge an ecosystem or landscape change triggered by them, is not fixed or easy to define. Here, some of the psychological, cognitive, and social dimensions that influence how humans judge non-native and invasive species and their effects on ecosystems are reviewed. It is concluded, at least in the case of non-native species, that the reduction of aesthetics to a ‘service’ is problematic, for it occludes the complex psychological and social processes that shape divergent perceptions of changing species distributions.
- RESEARCH: CIB Associates