Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Habitat restoration and improvement (pathway cause)



Habitat restoration and improvement (pathway cause)


  • Last modified
  • 12 June 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pathway Cause
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Habitat restoration and improvement (pathway cause)
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Habitat restoration and improvement (pathway cause)

International Common Names

  • English: Dune fixation; Dune stabilization; Erosion control; Erosion control and dune stabilization; Sand binding

Species Transported by Cause

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SpeciesNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Acacia angustissima (prairie acacia)Reported as a good species for erosion control. Yes Cook et al., 2005
Acacia auriculiformis (northern black wattle)Recommended for erosion control and soil improvement Yes Yes Hanelt and IPK, 2016
Acacia glauca (wild dividivi) Yes Yes
Acacia longifolia (golden wattle)Deliberate introduction in Portugal, South Africa, Argentina and California for dune stabilization Yes Yes Dennill and Donnelly, 1991; Dreistadt and Hagen, 1994; Marchante et al., 2008; Stellatelli et al., 2014
Acacia mearnsii (black wattle)Soil and water conservation Yes Yes Ho and Fang, 1997; Waki, 1984
Acacia saligna (Port Jackson wattle) Yes Cronk and Fuller, 1995
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)Used as sward material in New Zealand Yes Cook et al., 2005
Agave americana (century plant)Sometimes planted to control erosion Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2016
Agropyron cristatum (crested wheatgrass) Yes Yes Zlatnik, 1999
Agrostis capillaris (common bent) Yes Yes
Alternanthera bettzickiana (calico plant)Used for erosion control in plantations, croplands and orchards. Yes PROTA, 2016
Alysicarpus vaginalis (alyce clover)Species cultivated in agricultural settings as a soil improver Yes Yes Duke, 1981; Hanelt et al., 2001
Ammophila arenaria (marram grass)Commonly introduced as a sand stabilizer Yes Yes Russo et al., 1988
Amorpha fruticosa (false indigo-bush) Yes Yes Kozuharova et al., 2017
Amphibalanus improvisus (bay barnacle)On oyster shells Yes Yes Carlton et al., 2011
Andropogon virginicus (broomsedge) Yes
Anredera cordifolia (Madeira vine) Yes Yes
Arrhenatherum elatius (false oat-grass)Sown for erosion control Yes Yes USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Program, 2006
Austropuccinia psidii (myrtle rust)Accidental movement on infected plant material during bush regeneration plantings Yes Carnegie and Cooper, 2011
Bambusa bambos (giant thorny bamboo) Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2015
Bambusa vulgaris (common bamboo)Planted in disturbed areas for erosion control Yes Yes Dransfield and Widjaja, 1995
Bontia daphnoides (white alling)Species recommended for coastal habitat restoration Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Bothriochloa ischaemum (yellow bluestem) Yes Texas Invasives, 2015
Bothriochloa pertusa (pitted beard grass) Yes Yes
Bromus hordeaceus (soft brome) Yes USDA-NRCS, 2005
Calliandra houstoniana var. calothyrsus (calliandra)Nitrogen fixing and soil improver species Yes Yes Orwa et al., 2009
Callisia repens (creeping inch-plant)Frequently used as ground cover Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2013
Calopogonium caeruleum (jicama)Erosion control Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2014
Calopogonium mucunoides (calopo)Soil improver and erosion control Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2013
Carex kobomugi (Asiatic sand sedge)Widely planted for dune erosion control in eastern USA between 1950s and 1980s. Possibly introduced Yes Yes Burkitt and Wootton, 2010; Wootton et al., 2005; Zhang et al., 2010
Carpobrotus edulis (hottentot fig) Yes Yes
Cenchrus ciliaris (Buffel grass) Yes Yes Warren and Aschmann, 1993
Chloris virgata (feather finger grass)Has been used for reseeding denuded rangeland Yes Yes FAO, 2015
Clitoria ternatea (butterfly-pea)Used as ground cover, soil improver Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Cocos nucifera (coconut)Planted to stabilise coastal areas Yes Yes Chan and Elevitch, 2006
Cortaderia jubata (purple pampas grass) Yes Yes
Cortaderia selloana (pampas grass) Yes Yes
Corymbia citriodora (lemon-scented gum)Planted for land reclamation Yes Yes Orwa et al., 2009
Corynocarpus laevigatus (karaka)Introduced in Waimea Canyon, Kaua'i, Hawai'i Yes Wagner et al., 1999
Crassostrea virginica (eastern oyster) Yes Yes
Crotalaria maypurensis (rattlebox weed)Introduced as an agricultural cover crop Yes Yes Avendaño, 2011
Crotalaria retusa (rattleweed)Used as ground cover Yes Yes Prota4U, 2013
Crotalaria spectabilis (showy rattlepod)Often planted for erosion control and soil improvement Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2015
Cuscuta japonica (Japanese dodder)Introduced with kudzu vine Yes O'Driscoll, 2003; Yuncker, 1965
Cynodon nlemfuensis (African Bermuda-grass)Sometimes planted to control soil erosion Yes Yes Prota4U, 2013
Cynodon plectostachyus (African stargrass)Planted for stabilization of mine dumps Yes PROTA, 2015
Dactyloctenium aegyptium (crowfoot grass)Planted as soil stabilizer Yes Yes AusGrass2, 2016
Dendrocalamus strictus (male bamboo)Revegetation Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2015
Dichanthium annulatum (Kleberg's bluestem)Planted for re-seeding degraded grasslands Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Dichanthium caricosum (nadi blue grass)Planted for erosion control Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Digitaria ciliaris (southern crabgrass)Planted to control soil erosion Yes Yes Holm et al., 1979
Digitaria eriantha (pangola grass)Recommended for soil conservation and erosion control. Yes Yes Tropical Forages, 2016
Digitaria fuscescens (yellow crab grass)Recommended for erosion control Yes Yes PROSEA, 2016
Drymaria cordata (tropical chickweed)Planted as ground cover to control soil erosion Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2014
Echinochloa pyramidalis Yes
Ehrharta calycina (perennial veldtgrass) Yes Yes Bossard et al., 2000
Elaeagnus angustifolia (Russian olive) Yes Katz and Shafroth, 2003
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive) Yes Munger, 2003
Eragrostis atrovirens (thalia lovegrass)Planted for soil stabilization Yes Yes PROTA, 2016
Eragrostis lehmanniana (Lehmann lovegrass)Used for reseeding degraded areas in southwestern USA Yes Yes FAO, 2015
Eremochloa ophiuroides (centipedegrass)Soil conservation Yes Yes Walsh, 1994
Erigeron karvinskianus (Karwinsky’s fleabane)In Sri Lanka, introduced to prevent soil erosion Yes Bushana, 2010
Erythrina berteroana (coralbean) Yes Yes Orwa et al., 2009
Eucalyptus robusta (swamp mahogany)Used to stabilize dunes Yes Yes Orwa et al., 2009
Euphorbia tirucalli (Indian-tree spurge)Planted for dune stabilization Yes Yes Little et al., 1974
Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed)has been used for this Yes
Fallopia sachalinensis (giant knotweed)Even exported to India Yes Bailey and Conolly, 2000
Festuca arundinacea (tall fescue)Used for erosion control Yes Yes Malik et al., 2000
Flemingia macrophylla (large leaf flemingia) Yes Yes
Galphimia glauca (goldshower )Grown as groundcover and for preventing soil erosion Yes Yes Floridata, 2015
Gammarus tigrinusIn Germany, as supplement fish feeding in polluted habitats where native gammarids disappeared Yes Yes Schmitz, 1960
Gmelina arborea (candahar)Often used in large-scale reforestation programs Yes Yes Silva et al., 2005
Heterotis rotundifolia (pink lady)Grown as ground cover Yes Yes Davidse et al., 2009
Imperata cylindrica (cogon grass) Yes Yes
Indigofera hirsuta (hairy indigo)Erosion control Yes Yes Duke, 1981; USDA-ARS, 2013
Indigofera spicata (creeping indigo)Introduced to tropics worldwide for use as a cover crop, for erosion control and as green manure Yes Yes Duke, 1981; Morton, 1989; Sunarno, 1997
Indigofera tinctoria (true indigo)Widely used as cover and green manure crop Yes Yes Duke, 1981; Lemmens and Wulijarni-Soetjipto, 1991; Seidemann, 2005
Indigofera trita (Asian indigo)Planted as groundcover plant Yes Yes PROTA, 2014
Jatropha curcas (jatropha) Yes Pitt, 1999
Lagerstroemia indica (Indian crape myrtle)Dense and widespread root system Yes Yes Orwa et al., 2009
Lagerstroemia speciosa (Pride of India) Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Lawsonia inermis (Egyptian privet)Planted for soil conservation Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Leptochloa fusca (sprangletop) Yes Yes
Leptocybe invasa (blue gum chalcid)Through the use of eucalyptus (especially in coastal dunes) Yes Yes
Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena) Yes
Limax maximus (leopard slug)Accidental transport with vegetation and soil Yes
Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle)Promoted by US Soil Conservation Service 1960s-1980s Yes Luken and Thieret, 1997
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow’s honeysuckle)Planted in the past as wildlife cover, a wildlife food source and for erosion control Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Lupinus angustifolius (narrow-leaf lupin)Soil improver Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Lupinus polyphyllus (garden lupin)Deliberate Yes USDA-NRCS, 2015
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro)Soil and pasture improver Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Medicago lupulina (black medick)Soil improver Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2017
Melaleuca quinquenervia (paperbark tree) Yes Dray et al., 2006
Melilotus officinalis (yellow sweet clover)Planted as soil improver – nitrogen-fixing species Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Melinis minutiflora (molasses grass)Planted in poor soils and to control erosion Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Melinis repens (natal redtop)Used for soil stabilization Yes Cook et al., 2005
Mikania micrantha (bitter vine) Yes Yes
Mimosa diplotricha (creeping sensitive plant) Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005; Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
Morinda citrifolia (Indian mulberry)Planted for control coastal erosion Yes Francis, 2004
Nopalea cochenillifera (cochineal cactus)Suggested for restoration of mined habitats Yes Yes Howard, 1991
Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear) Yes Yes
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)Often planted for erosion control in slopes and shaded sites Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Paspalidium geminatum (Egyptian paspalidium)Large scale, mechanized fragment planting following herbicide management and substrate removal in Yes Mallison and Thompson, 2010; Mallison et al., 2006; Pouder et al., 2006
Paspalum dilatatum (dallisgrass)recommended for erosion control Yes Yes Tropical Forages, 2017
Paspalum vaginatum (seashore paspalum) Yes Yes
Pastinaca sativa (parsnip) Yes Yes
Paulownia tomentosa (paulownia) Yes Yes SE-EPPC, 2003
Pennisetum clandestinum (Kikuyu grass) Yes Yes
Pennisetum purpureum (elephant grass)Effective controlling erosion Yes Yes FAO, 2013
Pennisetum setaceum (fountain grass)Plants used for soil stabilization Yes Cook et al., 2005
Phaseolus lunatus (lima bean)Green manure Yes Yes PROTA, 2014
Phleum pratense (timothy grass) Yes Yes
Pinus caribaea (Caribbean pine)Frequently used to cover infertile eroded lands Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Pinus contorta (lodgepole pine)Habitat restoration Yes Elfving et al., 2001; Richardson, 1998; Richardson et al., 2008; Simberloff et al., 2010
Pinus elliottii (slash pine) Yes Yes
Pinus pinaster (maritime pine) Yes Yes Cronk and Fuller, 1995
Prosopis juliflora (mesquite)Introduced as such, e.g. Mauritania Yes Pasiecznik et al., 2001
Pueraria montana var. lobata (kudzu) Yes Yes Stevens, 1976
Pueraria phaseoloides (tropical kudzu)Planted to control erosion Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove) Yes Yes
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) Yes Yes
Rosa rugosa (rugosa rose) Yes Vassileva and Kiprovski, 1982
Rubus rosifolius (roseleaf raspberry)In Africa it has been planted for erosion control Yes Yes PROTA, 2014
Saccharum ravennae (ravenna grass) Yes
Salix cinerea (grey sallow) Yes Yes Harman, 2004
Scaevola taccada (beach naupaka) Yes Yes Kaufman and Kaufman, 2007
Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian pepper tree) Yes
Securigera varia (crown vetch) Yes
Senna alata (candle bush)Reported as used for erosion control. Yes USDA-ARS, 2016
Senna multijuga (November shower)Pioneer species, used as shade tree in agroforestry and to regenerate degraded areas due to its nitr Yes Yes PIER, 2014
Senna septemtrionalis (smooth senna)Used as green manure and hedge plant Yes Yes Sosef and Maesen, 1997
Sesbania sesban (sesban) Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass)Used to stabilise coastlines and as what was thought to be a potential land reclamation tool Yes Yes Cohen and Carlton, 1995; Hedge et al., 2003
Spartina anglica (common cordgrass)UK to Germany Yes Yes Kolumbe, 1931; König, 1948
Spartina densifloraTransplanted from Humboldt Bay to the San Francisco Estuary as part of a marsh restoration project Yes California State Coastal Conservancy, 2016
Spartium junceum (Spanish broom)Planted for erosion control Yes Yes Sanhueza and Zalba, 2012
Sphagneticola trilobata (wedelia) Yes Yes
Syzygium grande (sea apple)Species has been actively utilized in plantation and reforestation programmes Yes Yes Islam, 1984; Rahman et al., 2011
Tabebuia rosea (pink poui)Used for restoration of degraded areas Yes Yes Hall et al., 2011
Tamarix ramosissima (saltcedar)Main reason for introduction Yes Yes
Tephrosia candida (white tephrosia) Yes Yes
Terminalia catappa (Singapore almond)Trees planted for sand-dune stabilization Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Thunbergia alata (black eyed Susan)Grown as a gound cover Yes Yes Whistler, 2000
Tithonia diversifolia (Tithonia) Yes Ng'inja et al., 1998
Trachelospermum jasminoides (star-jasmine)Often grown as ground cover Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Triplaris americana (ant tree)Reforestation of degraded areas Yes Yes Grandtner and Chevrette, 2013
Urena lobata (caesar weed)Plants are used in soil stabilization Yes Yes Francis, 2000
Urochloa decumbens (signal grass)Planted for erosion control on hillsides Yes Yes Weeds of Australia, 2015
Vitex rotundifolia (beach vitex)Monocultures and spread followed deliberate plantings made at beach dune restoration sites Yes Yes Cousins et al., 2010a; Gresham, 2015
Vulpia myuros (annual fescue)Seeds often included in seed mixtures for re-vegetation. Deliberate. Yes Yes Brown and Rice, 2000
Ziziphus spina-christi (Christ's thorn jujube)Dune stabilization Yes Yes Cook et al., 2005
Zoysia matrella (Manila grass) Yes Yes Wiersema and León, 1999