The Influence of Diverse Values, Ecological Structure, and Geographic Context on Residents' Multifaceted Landscaping Decisions

Kelli Larson, Elizabeth Cook, Colleen Strawhacker, Sharon Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous research has examined the influence of values on human-ecological decisions, yet disparate approaches render inferences across studies difficult. In this paper, we present a robust conceptualization of values, encompassing general life values, broad-based environmental orientations, and specific yard priorities, while comparatively examining how these influence residents' land-management practices. Coupling a social survey with observational field data in Phoenix, Arizona, we address how 1) diverse values affect residents' multifaceted landscaping practices, 2) yard structure impacts water and chemical applications, and 3) land management varies across distinctive geographic contexts. Overall, values were not strongly related to land management decisions. Of those that were significant, most were related to groundcover and herbicide use. Yet diverse environmental values influenced landscaping practices in varying and complex ways. In addition, the historic and socioeconomic setting of neighborhoods affect the extent of lawns and related management inputs, while heightened use of pesticides in rock-based, drought-tolerant yards challenges the notion of these lawn alternatives as an environmentally friendly and low maintenance choice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-761
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Ecology
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010

Keywords

  • Environmental behavior
  • Land management
  • Lawns
  • Urban ecology
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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