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 mangium (brown salwood)Has been introduced in site rehabilitation efforts due to its nitrogen-fixing ability Yes Yes Duke (1983); Brown (2000); Starr et al. (2003); Orchard and Wilson (2001); Krisnawati et al. (2011); PIER (2016)
Acacia mearnsii (black wattle)Soil and water conservation Yes Yes Ho and Fang (1997); Waki (1984)
Acacia saligna (coojong)Species has been introduced beyond its native range for its usefulness for binding moving sand, reclaiming eroded hillsides and wastelands and for stabilizing drift sands; useful for windbreaks, amenity plantings, beautification projects and roadside stabilization in semi-arid regions Yes Cronk and Fuller (1995); Duke (1983)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)Used as sward material in New Zealand Yes Bourdôt et al. (1985)
Aeschynomene americana (shyleaf)Green manure Yes Yes Bishop (1992a)
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
Albizia adinocephala (cream albizia)Soil erosion stabilizer, nitrogen fixing, and improvement of degraded soils Yes Rico Arce et al. (2008); Roman et al.; (2012); Arboretum Alain Meyrat (2016)
Albizia carbonaria (carbonero) Yes USDA-ARS (2016)
Albizia lebbeck (Indian siris)Nitrogen-fixing species Yes Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
Albizia niopoides (silk tree)Planted to improve soil conditions Yes Yes Vozzo (2002)
Albizia procera (white siris)Often planted as soil improver Yes Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
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)
Amaranthus palmeri (Palmer amaranth)Accidentally dispersed by seed mixes used for habitat restoration Yes Yes Murphy et al. (2017)
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 longispiculata (mahal bamboo)Planted for soil stabilization Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2019)
Bambusa tuldoides (punting pole bamboo)Planted for soil stabilization Yes Yes O'Connor et al. (2000)
Bambusa vulgaris (common bamboo)Planted in disturbed areas for erosion control Yes Yes Dransfield and Widjaja (1995)
Blighia sapida (akee apple)Used for erosion control and soil improvement Yes PROTA (2019)
Bontia daphnoides (white alling)Species recommended for coastal habitat restoration Yes Yes Murcia et al. (2016)
Bothriochloa ischaemum (yellow bluestem) Yes Texas Invasives (2015)
Bothriochloa pertusa (pitted beard grass) Yes Yes
Brassica rapa (field mustard)Potential to prevent erosion, suppress weeds and soil-borne pests, alleviate soil compaction and scavenge nutrients Yes Young-Mathews (2012)
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)
Canavalia ensiformis (jack bean) Yes Heuzé and Tran (2015)
Canavalia gladiata (sword bean)Used as green manure Yes Yes PROTA (2019)
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 chilensis (sea fig)Used for coastal sand stabilization Yes Jonkers (2001)
Carpobrotus edulis (hottentot fig) Yes Yes
Cascabela thevetia (yellow oleander)Planted for soil conservation Yes Yes Useful Tropical Plants (2020)
Cenchrus ciliaris (Buffel grass) Yes Yes Warren and Aschmann (1993)
Chloris gayana (Rhodes grass)To control soil erosion and improve soils Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Chloris virgata (feather finger grass)Has been used for reseeding denuded rangeland Yes Yes FAO (2015)
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver)Often planted for erosion control, soil and water conservation and soil improvement Yes Yes Gnansounou et al. (2017)
Cissus quadrangularis (treebine)Planted for dune stabilization Yes Yes Brink and Achigan-Dako (2012)
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)
Coptotermes gestroi (Asian subterranean termite)May be present in tree bark or any wood used in reafforestation programmes Yes Yes
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)
Cymbopogon schoenanthus (camel grass)Occasionally planted to control soil erosion Yes Yes Useful Tropical Plants (2019)
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)
Diaporthe gulyae (Phomopsis stem canker of sunflower)Possible - Carried on infected plant residues Yes Yes
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)
Helianthus debilis (beach sunflower)Grown for stabilizing coastal sand dunes, erosion protection and ground cover Yes Yes Craig and Smith (1983); Maura and Sanders (2002)
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 Orwa et al. (2009)
Lawsonia inermis (Egyptian privet)Planted for soil conservation Yes Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
Leptocybe invasa (blue gum chalcid)Through the use of eucalyptus (especially in coastal dunes) Yes Yes
Lespedeza cuneata (sericea lespedeza)Used for mine reclamation and soil conservation Yes Yes Ohlenbusch et al. (2001)
Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena) Yes
Limax maximus (leopard slug)Accidental transport with vegetation and soil Yes
Litsea glutinosa (Indian laurel)deliberate Yes Jacq et al. (2005)
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 Missouri Botanical Garden (2018)
Lupinus angustifolius (narrow-leaf lupin)Soil improver Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2017)
Lupinus polyphyllus (garden lupin)Deliberate Yes USDA-NRCS (2015)
Maconellicoccus hirsutus (pink hibiscus mealybug) Yes
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 USDA-ARS (2017)
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 Florabase (2012)
Mikania micrantha (bitter vine) Yes Yes
Mimosa diplotricha (giant sensitive plant) Yes Yes DAF (2016); Parsons and Cuthbertson (1992)
Morinda citrifolia (Indian mulberry)Planted for control coastal erosion Yes Francis (2004)
Nerium oleander (oleander)Used for soil stabilization Yes Yes PROTA (2020)
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 USDA-NRCS (2017)
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 conjugatum (buffalo grass)Planted for erosion control in plantations Yes Yes Manik et al. (2002)
Paspalum dilatatum (dallisgrass)recommended for erosion control Yes Yes Tropical Forages (2017)
Paspalum notatum (Bahia grass)Often planted for erosion control, slope stabilization Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Paspalum vaginatum (seashore paspalum) Yes Yes
Paspalum virgatum (sword grass)Sometimes planted for erosion control Yes Yes Quattrocchi (2006)
Pastinaca sativa (parsnip) Yes Yes
Paulownia tomentosa (paulownia) Yes Yes SE-EPPC (2003)
Pectobacterium brasiliense (soft rot and blackleg of ornamentals and potato) Yes
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 Florabase (2012)
Phaseolus lunatus (lima bean)Green manure Yes Yes PROTA (2014)
Phleum pratense (timothy grass) Yes Yes
Phyllostachys aurea (golden bamboo)Planted for erosion control and soil stabilization Yes Yes Langeland et al. (2008)
Phyllostachys reticulata (giant timber bamboo)Planted for soil stabilization and erosion control Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2017)
Pinus caribaea (Caribbean pine)Frequently used to cover infertile eroded lands Yes Yes Soerianegara and Lemmens (1993)
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)
Pongamia pinnata (Indian beech) Yes Daniel (1997); Oyen (1997)
Prosopis juliflora (mesquite)Introduced as such, e.g. Mauritania Yes Pasiecznik et al. (2001)
Pteris vittata (Chinese ladder brake fern)Used to restore areas contaminated with arsenic Yes Yes Chen et al. (2002); Rathinasabapathi et al. (2007)
Pterocarpus macrocarpus (Burma padauk)Reforestation projects Yes Yes Pakkad et al. (2002)
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)
Salix humboldtiana (pencil willow)Deliberate Yes Berni et al. (1979)
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 Sandys-Winsch and Harris (1992)
Solidago sempervirens (seaside goldenrod)Planted for habitat restoration, dune stabilization and erosion control Yes Yes USDA-NRCS (2018)
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
Spirodela polyrrhiza (giant duckweed)Used for bioremediation of contaminated water Yes Yes Les (2020)
Spodoptera eridania (southern armyworm)Outbreaks recorded after reforestation projects of native species Yes Yes Mattana and Foerster (1988)
Sterculia apetala (Panama tree)Use for erosion control Yes Yes Rodríguez-Vargas (2007)
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 Orwa et al. (2009)
Thunbergia alata (black eyed Susan)Grown as a gound cover Yes Yes Whistler (2000)
Tithonia diversifolia (Mexican sunflower)Planted for soil improver and erosion control Yes Yes Ng'inja et al. (1998)
Trachelospermum jasminoides (star-jasmine)Often grown as ground cover Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2017)
Triplaris americana (ant tree)Reforestation of degraded areas Yes Yes Grandtner and Chevrette (2013)
Tripsacum dactyloides (eastern gamagrass)Planted for erosion control, soil conservation and revegetation Yes USDA-ARS (2017)
Tripsacum latifolium (wideleaf gamagrass)Sometimes planted for erosion control and soil conservation Yes Yes Missouri Botanical Garden (2017)
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)
Yucca gigantea (spineless yucca)Erosion control Yes Yes Useful Tropical Plants (2020)
Ziziphus spina-christi (Christ's thorn jujube)Dune stabilization Yes Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
Zoysia matrella (Manila grass) Yes Yes Wiersema and León (1999)