About the Invasive Species Compendium
The content of the site is continuously developing, with weekly uploads to the full text and abstracts of new scientific publications in the invasive species subject area and new datasheets and updates to existing datasheets. The site is dynamically growing and we are pleased to accept datasheet author requests, permissions for abstracting material and photos, and new verifiable species distribution records.
The Invasive Species Compendium (ISC) is an encyclopaedic resource that brings together a wide range of different types of science-based information to support decision-making in invasive species management worldwide. It comprises detailed datasheets that have been written by experts, edited by an independent scientific organization, peer reviewed, and enhanced with data from specialist organizations, images, and maps, a bibliographic database and full text articles. New datasheets and data sets continue to be added, datasheets are reviewed and updated, and scientific literature added on a weekly basis. The ISC has been resourced by a diverse international Consortium of Government departments, Non-governmental organizations and private companies.
Breakdown of content in the ISC
Full datasheets: comprise fully referenced sections on taxonomy and nomenclature, distribution, habitat, identification, biology and ecology, species associations, pathways for introduction, impacts and management, complemented by images and maps, and supported by abstracts and full text articles. These datasheets are authored by species experts and peer reviewed. The following datasheets are recommended to demonstrate the main features:
Codium fragile subsp. tomentosoides (marine alga) / Dikerogammarus villosus (killer shrimp) / Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed)
Invasive species datasheets: This Compendium covers known invasive species, of all taxa, affecting natural and managed ecosystems, except human pathogens and concentrates on those species that have the greatest impacts on livelihoods and the environment.
At Launch over 1500 full datasheets on invasive species and animal diseases were developed for inclusion in the ISC across the following groups:
35% plants (aquatic and terrestrial)
30% pests and pathogens of agricultural and environmental plants (terrestrial)
15% aquatic animals
15% pathogens of animals
5% terrestrial vertebrates
Animal disease datasheets: Priority is given to those included in the list of diseases notifiable to the OIE ( World Organization for Animal Health). Over 120 animal diseases and the associated pathogens are covered, with extensive information on diagnosis, epidemiology, economic impact, management and control. In general, full information is provided in the animal disease datasheet and fewer sections are included in the corresponding invasive species datasheet which deals with the pathogen. Although a few sections such as the distribution table are shared, it is recommended that you view both datasheets for full information and a link to the pathogen/disease is provided on the cover page of both types of datasheet.
Pest datasheets: contain the same sections as the Invasive species datasheets but, although these species are clearly plant pests, there is little or no evidence that they are invasive species as they have not been reported to cause significant damage outside their native range. A small number has been included in the ISC on request because they may represent an economic or environmental threat if introduced to new areas. Many more datasheets on plant pests are included in the more comprehensive Crop Protection Compendium (www.cabi.org/cpc).
Documented species datasheets: contain the same sections as the Invasive species datasheets but our authors have found little or no evidence that they are invasive species. They have been included in the ISC because CABI has been asked to document them, either because they are considered to represent an economic or environmental threat if introduced to new areas, or because they have been listed as invasive species elsewhere.
Habitat datasheets: Sample datasheets on habitats are included, providing information on risk of species invasion, impacts and management of invasive species.
Pathway datasheets: Sample datasheets on pathways for introduction and dispersal are divided into two categories:
Pathway causes (the reasons why a species is transported, whether accidentally or deliberately).
Pathway vectors (the physical means of transport).
These datasheets give information on the issues and management options concerning invasive species.
Basic datasheets: contain summary information in tabular format. They have been compiled mainly by data mining various sources (including the CAB ABSTRACTS database and selected invasive species databases). The content should therefore be treated with caution and the original sources consulted before use. Basic datasheets are included for invasive species that have not yet been commissioned as full datasheets and datasheets related to invasive species such as hosts, threatened species (of conservation significance), natural enemies, vectors, pathways, habitats and countries.
Library: The Library is a collection of specially selected full text articles which complement the more structured information on the individual species datasheets. Articles can either be searched for off the prepared searches on the Library page or via using the search on the home page and selecting the library tab after the search results are returned.
Bibliographic database: Over 170,000 bibliographic records with abastracts and metadata are available via a link to CAB Direct. This subset of CAB Abstracts includes references cited in the datasheets and additional recent references of importance. This set of records grows each week, ensuring that the key recent literature is available for searching using the CAB Direct interface. Access is also provided to over 2,600 articles in the CABI Full text archive. CAB Direct assists with onward linkage to full text from all abstracts by providing a range of linking services. Please do not bookmark the CAB Direct site directly because access is only available to this subset via the ISC website.
Glossary: Over 780 terms and their definitions have been compiled from various cited sources.
Definitions used in the Invasive Species Compendium
The following working definitions have been applied during the development of this compendium.
Invasive (alien) species: an (alien) species whose establishment and spread threaten ecosystems, habitats or species with economic or environmental harm.
Source: McNeely, J.A., Mooney, H.A., Neville, L.E., Schei, P.J. and Waage, J.K. (eds) (2001) Global Strategy on Invasive Alien Species. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge UK. [Use of the term "species" in this context includes species, subspecies or lower taxa; also note parentheses have been added around 'alien' by CABI because the Compendium also considers species that are invasive in their native range].
Introduced species (alien, non-native): A species, subspecies or lower taxon, introduced outside its natural past or present distribution; includes any part, gametes, seeds, eggs, or propagules of such species that might survive and subsequently reproduce.
Source: CBD Guiding Principles
Native species: A species, subspecies, or lower taxon, occurring within its natural range (past or present) and dispersal potential (i.e. within the range it occupies naturally or could occupy without direct or indirect introduction or care by humans.)
Source: IUCN, 2000. IUCN Guidelines for the Prevention of Biodiversity Loss caused by Alien Invasive Species. IUCN, Species Survival Commission, Gland, Switzerland.
(Plant) pest: Any species, strain or biotype of plant, animal or pathogenic agent injurious to plants or plant products.
Source: FAO, 2007. Glossary of Phytosanitary Terms. ISPM Pub. No. 5. FAO, Rome, Italy.
OIE notifiable disease: Detailed criteria for inclusion of diseases in the list of those notifiable to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) are given in Chapter 2.1.1. of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code (OIE, 2007). Each criterion is based on a measurable parameter, and if a disease fulfils at least one of these, it becomes notifiable. Potential for international spread is the most important criterion. Others include zoonotic potential and the ability to spread significantly within native populations.
Categories of presence
Present (no further details): Occurring in a particular country or area (without details on range). May be abbreviated to 'Present'
Widespread: Occurring practically throughout the country or area where conditions are suitable
Restricted distribution: Present, but not widespread; used to indicate that the species does not occur in some suitable parts of the country or area. Other terms used for the same situation are: "Localised" and "Limited distribution"
Present, few occurrences: Reported occasionally or reports suggest its presence is rare or sporadic
Confined and subject to quarantine: Confined to a particular area only and prevented from spreading to other parts of the country or area by regulatory control (quarantine) and official measures are taken to control or eradicate the pest within the confined area
Categories of absence
Eradicated: Recorded at some time in the past but eradication was successful, so the pest is not present now
Absent, intercepted only: Only found in imported consignments, on entry or at the place of destination. It is not present now
Absent, formerly present: Recorded at some time in the past, but did not establish and is not present now. It disappeared without any special measures being taken
Absent, unreliable record: Species records indicate presence but they are considered unreliable because of ambiguous nomenclature, outdated identification methods etc.
Absent, invalid record: Species records indicate presence but the records are no longer valid due to changes in taxonomy, misidentification, erroneous record, changes to national borders etc.
Absent, never occurred: The country concerned officially states that the species has never occurred there. This category is not used comprehensively, usually only if there has been an incorrect report in the literature
For animal diseases, the categories used in data supplied by the OIE include:
Disease never reported
Disease not reported (date of last outbreak not known)
Disease last reported in [Date of the last reported occurrence of the disease in previous years]
Disease suspected but presence not confirmed
Reported present or known to be present
Serological evidence and/or isolation of the causal agent, but no clinical signs of disease
Disease limited to specific zones
Pathways for introduction and dispersal
Pathway cause: Why a species is transported, that is, whether accidentally or deliberately
Pathway vector: How, physically, a species in transported, that is, the physical means or agent
Carlton JY, Ruiz GM, 2005. Vector science and integrated vector management in bioinvasion ecology: conceptual frameworks. In: Invasive Alien Species: A New Synthesis (ed. by Mooney HA et al.). Island Press, Washington, USA.
Work is ongoing to harmonize the Compendium taxonomy with the CAB Thesaurus. At the current time, the CAB Thesaurus continues to follow the Cronquist system of classification for the orders and families of flowering plants rather than the APG III system which has been adopted by many botanists.
The ISC includes data, text and pictures that in some cases remain the copyright of the organization or individual that developed them. Details of the copyright holders are provided in the Compendium. Please note that pictures supplied for datasheets created in previous Compendium have only been included when there is clear signed copyright agreement in place. However, if you as the copyright holder of an image included in this compendium wish to discuss its inclusion please contact us.
Content Licensing of the Invasive Species Compendium
Content in this work whose copyright is owned by CABI is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales Licence.
Text, illustrations and photos, other than those whose copyright is owned by a third party, are provided free of charge to anyone under the condition that the title of the resource and CABI’s name appear prominently in any copies made. This material is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales Licence. Details about the terms and conditions can be found by clicking here. In addition, you must abide by the following conditions: trademarks and logos owned by CABI can only be re-used with the express written permission of CABI, so please approach us if you wish to use them; any material whose copyright is owned by a third party can be identified by the presence of a ©, by the statement “all rights reserved”, or by other clear labelling of copyright ownership, and are not available under this Creative Commons licence for copying or reuse; and you should not use the material in any way that states or implies that CABI approves, sponsors or endorses in any way your use of its materials.
Although CABI has taken reasonable care to ensure that the information, data and other material made available online is error-free and up-to-date, it accepts no responsibility for corruption to the information, data and other material thereafter, including but not limited to any defects caused by the transmission or processing of the information, data and other material. The information made available online, including any expression of opinion and any projection or forecast, has been obtained from or is based upon sources believed by CABI to be reliable but is not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness. The information is supplied without obligation and on the understanding that any person who acts upon it or otherwise changes his/her position in reliance thereon does so entirely at his/her own risk. Information supplied is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional or medical advice.
Full Datasheets: Most datasheets on invasive species, animal diseases, habitats and pathways have been written specifically for CABI by a wide range of specialists from over 60 countries (see Contributors for a full list of acknowledgements). They are edited and sent to additional experts for peer review or updating as required. In some cases, datasheets have been provided by partner organizations and they are acknowledged on the cover page of the datasheet.
Basic Datasheets: Basic datasheets are available for species that are invasive (but not yet populated with full data) or are associated with invasive species, threatened species, country datasheets, pathway datasheets and habitats. Data have been downloaded from CAB Abstracts and other reference databases by a process of 'data mining' and automatic cross-checking. This data may provide useful indications of the identity, distribution and relationships of these entries, but it must be noted that not all the data in this form have been manually checked by CABI editorial team.
Last Modified date: The date of last modification of most datasheets can be found on the cover page. This date refers to the last time a modification was made to the text, to the distribution, or any other data for that entry. The latest datasheets to be published or updated appear on the Home Page prior to any search.
For detailed datasheets, geographic distributions have been researched by individual contributors and when available, enhanced with data from the following sources:
EPPO (European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization) PQR database, 2013. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) WAHID (World Animal Health Information Database), 2009
FishBase, 2004 . Froese R, Pauly D. www.fishbase.org
The distribution status for a country or province is based on all the information available - when several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the pest status. In particular, citations of earlier presence of a pest are included even though there is an authoritative reference to indicate that the pest is now absent. The additional level of detail can be displayed in the Table Details section in the Report tab section selector. Only records of presence are shown in the default display of the distribution map. Please refer to the Distribution Table in the datasheet for records of eradications, former presence, interceptions, and unconfirmed and invalid records reported in the literature. The Distribution text may also provide more information. The absence of a record on the map does not necessarily mean the pest is absent from that country or region: it may be the case that information for those areas is not available.
CABI is continually improving and updating the distribution data, and requests users to send additional information, with appropriate published references, to the Compendium Coordinator, CAB International, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8DE, UK, email: email@example.com.
The first edition of the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC) was released, and recognised as an innovative and unique multimedia database. It was immediately adopted as the principal and most authoritative reference source for plant quarantine departments around the world. It is annually updated from income received from global sales; a model for sustainability followed for later Compendia on Forestry, Animal Health and Production, and Aquaculture.
The role of data in the CPC was acknowledged as benefiting the management of newly defined ‘invasive species’, many of which were already included as globally acknowledged, peer-reviewed, regularly updated and interlinked datasheets written by species-specialist experts worldwide.
Discussion begun with stakeholders and Compendia Development Consortia members of the potential role of Compendium technology and data in the emerging discipline of invasive species.
Action Item 53 of the US National Invasive Species Management Plan states: "The National Invasive Species Council, led by USDA, will produce an Invasive Species Compendium for North America. The Compendium... will include a broad array of searchable information relevant to the biology, distribution, and management of invasive species.... The project will be undertaken in close cooperation with CABI ..."
During a meeting of the Development Consortia of the Compendium Programme, members independently identified Invasive Species as a priority for a new global Compendium.
USDA and NISC led an international Expert Consultation as part of the initial Feasibility Study on producing an Invasive Species Compendium (ISC), leading to a report guiding further development.
A proposal to create the ISC in a two-module project, extending for 3 years, with a budget of US $3M, was prepared by CABI for USDA.
USDA and CABI held an international Inception Workshop in Washington DC on 15-17 November, at which stakeholders discussed and agreed issues relating to user groups, coverage, components, linkages, project management, sustainability and access.
The principle was adopted that the ISC should be published as an open-access resource, freely available, to all. The cost of the maintenance, updating and enhancement would be covered by funds raised by the Development Consortium or other external sources, since there would be no income from sales.
The functional specification and species coverage of the ISC were developed with Consortium members, content partners and potential users who were asked to provide feedback on planning documents. Plans for the website were discussed with Development Consortium members at the Annual Consortium Workshop in October.
A priority list containing the most important 1000+ invasive species, of all organism types, was identified for immediate collation, and a generic datasheet template agreed.
CABI actively discussed cooperation with other invasive species initiatives and is guided by the GISIN Invasive Species Profile Schema designed to facilitate information exchange. Collaboration with IUCN was formalized in December, with some Global Invasive Species Database (GISD) content to be incorporated into the Compendium
Over 100 new datasheets and 100 reviews of existing datasheets were commissioned from specialists and edited. 75 datasheets were made available for incorporation from the GISD. Many more datasheets were enhanced and updated.
The editing system and platform for delivering the website were built and offer significant advantages in terms of data presentation, rapid publication of updates and linkage to CAB ABSTRACTS and full text.
The Alpha website was presented to Consortium members and partners at the annual Consortium Workshop in November for discussion and setting of the next development priorities.
A further phase of commissioning added 150 new invasive species, 8 habitats and pathways and updates a number of existing datasheets.
USDA-ARS provided 100 new datasheets on plant pathogenic fungi of concern to the USA.
Distribution maps where improved for all full species datasheets. Now you can download the distribution of each species as KML (Google Earth files) or CSV files to upload into modelling programs.
A glossary was added to the site to give the definition of over 780 invasive species related terms.
A project to fill all species with a missing image was initiated and will continue through 2011
A private Beta version was launched to the development consortia for feedback, leading the way towards the publication of the Invasive Species Compendium in 2011 as a gold standard open access resource, freely available to all.
An Advanced Search interface was added to retrieve datasheets by powerful keyword searches
The open access Beta version was released in June with a request for feedback through survey and Consortium Member and contributor contacts
New basic datasheets created for 6000 invasive species by data-mining trusted databases
USDA initiated a major project entitled Invasives Causing Extinction in the United States (ICE) which aims to document the impacts of invasive species on the federally listed endangered, threatened and candidate species in the ISC and provide full datasheets on the invasive species to assist their management
Full Open Access Launch of the Invasive Species Compendium
The Invasive Species Compendium was fully launched in April, freely available to all, with 1,520 Full Datasheets, 6,980 Basic Datasheets, 57 Library documents, 1130 Full Text articles, over 780 Glossary definitions, and over 75,700 bibliographic records
Country datasheets were enhanced with lists of species and animal diseases
Pathway datasheets were added to the browse tree to highlight their content which includes a list of invasive species associated with each pathway
6 ISC training workshops sponsored by the EU were held in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to introduce the ISC, encourage its use and get feedback to improve the relevance of the ISC to those regions. 46 countries were represented and priorities for new datasheets and updates have fed into the sustainability programme
28 datasheets on invasive species implicated in the decline of US-listed endangered species were commissioned for the ICE project
Partnerships with other global and regional invasive species initiatives are being developed now that the ISC is open access
Sustainability Project Manager:
Development Project Manager:
Nick Pasiecznik (Consultant)
Compendia Picture Editor:
Platform Project Manager:
Charles Schotman (Consultant)