Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Interconnected waterways (pathway cause)



Interconnected waterways (pathway cause)


  • Last modified
  • 12 June 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pathway Cause
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Interconnected waterways (pathway cause)
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Interconnected waterways (pathway cause)

Species Transported by Cause

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SpeciesNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Alburnus alburnus (bleak) Yes Welcomme, 1988
Alosa aestivalis (blueback herring) Yes Owens et al., 1998
Alosa pseudoharengus (alewife)Within the USA and Canada Yes Yes
Alpinia zerumbet (shell ginger)Aquatic dispersal is apparently occurring along streams. Invades water courses in S. Africa. Yes Yes Henderson, 2001; Oppenheimer, 2008
Ameiurus melas (black bullhead) Yes Yes
Ameiurus nebulosus (brown bullhead) Yes
Amphibalanus improvisus (bay barnacle)On vessels Yes Yes Carlton et al., 2011
Anguillicoloides crassusNatural movements of eels Yes Yes
Aphanomyces astaci Yes Yes Oidtmann et al., 2005
Artemisia biennis (biennial wormwood)Ports and shipping yards Yes Jehlík, 1984
Aspius aspius (asp) Yes
Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal)Possible dispersal of pathogen by interconnected waterways Yes Yes
Botrylloides perspicuus Yes Yes
Botrylloides violaceus (violet tunicate) Yes Pederson et al., 2005
Brachidontes pharaonisOpening of the Suez Canal Yes Yes Sarà et al., 2000; Sarà et al., 2006; Zenetos et al., 2005
Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush) Yes Yes
Bunias orientalis (Turkish warty-cabbage) Yes Klinge, 1887a; Klinge, 1887b; Klinge, 1887c
Cabomba caroliniana (Carolina fanwort) Yes Yes Les and Mehrhoff, 1999
Caesalpinia pulcherrima (peacock flower)Grows along waterways and in floodplains Yes Yes Graveson, 2012
Cercopagis pengoi (fishhook waterflea)Russia, Ukraine Yes Glamazda, 1971
Channa argus argus (northern snakehead) Yes Courtenay and Williams, 2004
Channa marulius (bullseye snakehead) Yes Yes Courtenay and Williams, 2004; Froese and Pauly, 2009
Charybdis hellerii Yes Galil and Zenetos, 2002
Chelicorophium curvispinum (Caspian mud shrimp) Yes Yes Jazdzewski and Konopacka, 2002; Vaate et al., 2002
Cichlasoma urophthalmum (Mayan cichlid)Naturally dispersed through interconnected canal systems in south and central Florida Yes Schofield et al., 2016
Ciona intestinalis (sea vase) Yes
Ciona savignyi Yes
Codium parvulumDispersed along the Suez Canal Yes Israel et al., 2010; ISPRA, 2018
Corbicula fluminea (Asian clam) Yes Karatayev et al., 2007; Panov et al., 2007
Corbula amurensis (Amur River clam)Spread throughout San Francisco Estuary Yes Carlton et al., 1990
Crassostrea virginica (eastern oyster) Yes
Crassula helmsii (Australian swamp stonecrop) Yes CAPM-CEH, 2004
Cuphea carthagenensis (Colombian waxweed) Yes Technigro, 2011
Cyprinus carpio (common carp) Yes Jackel, 1996
Didemnum vexillum (carpet sea squirt) Yes Pederson et al., 2005
Didymosphenia geminata (didymo)Potential form of introduction Yes Yes
Dikerogammarus villosus (killer shrimp) Yes Yes Jazdzewski and Konopacka, 2002; Vaate et al., 2002
Diplosoma listerianum Yes Pederson et al., 2005
Dreissena polymorpha (zebra mussel) Yes
Dreissena rostriformis bugensis (quagga mussel)Facilitating the natural spread via downstream drift of planktonic larvae Yes Yes Orlova et al., 2005; Son, 2007
Eichhornia paniculata (Brazilian water hyacinth) Yes Yes Husband and Barrett, 1998
Erigeron karvinskianus (Karwinsky’s fleabane) Yes
Eriocheir sinensis (Chinese mitten crab)Natural dispersal though canal systems Yes Yes
Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed) Yes
Fallopia sachalinensis (giant knotweed)During flood events Yes
Fallopia x bohemica Yes
Faxonius limosus (Spiny-cheek crayfish)Reached a number of European countries in this way Yes Holdich et al., 2006
Faxonius rusticus (rusty crayfish)The species can disperse quite fast Yes Hamr, 2002; Olden et al., 2006; Gunderson, 2008
Ficopomatus enigmaticus (tubeworm)The opening of the Volga-Don Canal in 1952 allowed the entrance of several exotic species Yes Yes Zevina and Kuznetsova, 1965
Funtumia elastica (West African rubber tree)It is believed to be dispersed along waterways in Martinique Yes Fleriag, 2010
Gammarus tigrinusSpreading via waterways, including canals, in France, Germany and USA Yes Yes Piscart et al., 2007; Grigorovich et al., 2008; Piscart et al., 2008
Glyceria declinata (small sweet grass) Yes
Glyceria maxima (reed sweet-grass)Moved in flowing water Yes Yes Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
Grateloupia turuturuSolent (UK), Thau Lagoon (France), Cape Cod Canal (USA) Yes Cabioch et al., 1997; Clerck et al., 2005; Farnham, 1978; Farnham, 1980; Marston and Villalard-Bohnsack, 2002; Mathieson et al., 2008a; Mathieson et al., 2008b; Simon et al., 2001
Gymnocephalus cernuus (ruffe) Yes
Hedychium gardnerianum (kahili ginger) Yes
Hemibarbus labeo (barbel steed) Yes Yes Kottelat, 2000
Hemichromis letourneuxi (African jewelfish)Natural dispersal in Florida through drainage canals/waterways Yes Loftus et al., 2006
Hemimysis anomala Yes Yes Audzijonyte et al., 2008; Bij et al., 2002; Stubbington et al., 2008; Wittmann, 2007; Wittmann and Ariani, 2009
Heracleum persicum (Persian hogweed) Yes
Hydrocharis morsus-ranae Yes USGS-NAS, 2002
Hygrophila polysperma (Indian swampweed) Yes DCR, 2003
Hymenachne amplexicaulis (hymenachne)Spread with water flow through natural and engineered waterways Yes Yes Australian Weeds Committee, 2012
Ictalurus punctatus (channel catfish) Yes Yes
Jatropha gossypiifolia (bellyache bush) Yes
Lagarosiphon major (African elodea) Yes ISSG, 2006
Lemna aequinoctialis (lesser duckweed)Could be moved in a slow-moving water flow Yes
Lemna perpusilla (duckweed)A. Mikulyuk, Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, USA, personal communcation, 2010 Yes
Lepidium latifolium (perennial pepperweed) Yes
Lepomis cyanellus (green sunfish)Expanded its range to several US states Yes Yes USGS, 2013
Leptochloa fusca (sprangletop)Seeds dispersed by water Yes Osca, 2013
Leuciscus leuciscus (common dace) Yes
Limnomysis benedeniVia the Main-Danube Canal and the Mittellandkanal in Germany. Yes Yes
Limnoperna fortunei (golden mussel)From China to Hong Kong Yes Morton, 1975
Littorina littorea (common periwinkle) Yes Reid, 1996
Ludwigia grandiflora (water primrose) Yes Okada et al., 2009; Ruaux et al., 2009
Ludwigia peploides (water primrose) Yes Ruaux et al., 2009
Lupinus polyphyllus (garden lupin)Accidental Yes Yes Timmins and MacKenzie, 1995
Marisa cornuarietis (giant ramshorn)Associated with flood debris, especially that of dislodged aquatic plants Yes
Melanoides tuberculata (red-rimmed melania) Yes
Micropterus salmoides (largemouth bass) Yes
Mnemiopsis leidyi (sea walnut) Yes Welcomme, 1988
Mononychellus tanajoa (cassava green mite)Accidental introduction, rare pathway Yes
Morone americana (white perch)Into the Great Lakes Yes Yes Fuller et al., 2008
Myriophyllum aquaticum (parrot's feather) Yes
Myriophyllum spicatum (spiked watermilfoil) Yes Yes
Myxobolus cerebralis (whirling disease agent)Natural fish migration Yes Bartholomew and Reno, 2002
Neogobius fluviatilis (monkey goby)Migration upstream in rivers is facilitated by man-made alteration of the river Yes Ahnelt et al., 1998; Grabowska et al., 2008; Pinchuk et al., 2003; Semenchenko et al., 2011
Neogobius melanostomus (round goby) Yes Yes Pinchuk et al., 2003
Nymphaea lotus (white Egyptian lotus) Yes
Nymphoides peltata (yellow floating-heart) Yes ISSG, 2006
Pelophylax cf. bedriagaeImmigration from Switzerland and France to Germany Yes Ohst, 2008
Pennisetum setaceum (fountain grass)Seed dispersal Yes Welcomme, 1988
Petromyzon marinus (sea lamprey)Adults. Believed to have migrated through Erie Canal, Welland, and St Lawrence canal systems Yes Fuller et al., 2008
Phoxinus phoxinus (European minnow) Yes
Phragmites australis (common reed) Yes
Phytophthora alni species complex (alder Phytophthora)Spreads rapidly downstream in invaded watercourses Yes Gibbs et al., 1999; Jung and Blaschke, 2004
Plectranthus scutellarioides (coleus)Grows by streams; water dispersal is likely Yes Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2014
Polistes dominula (European paper wasp) Yes Royal BC Museum, 2011
Pomacea canaliculata (golden apple snail)Can be transported passively downstream and can crawl upstream to a limited extent Yes
Pomacea maculataAs the snails are aquatic they can easily move between water bodies Yes Yes
Pontogammarus robustoidesDistrbution through Europe via system of interconnected channels Yes Yes Panov et al., 2009
Portunus segnis Yes Yes Galil, 2011
Potamogeton crispus (curlyleaf pondweed) Yes ISSG, 2006
Pseudorasbora parva (topmouth gudgeon) Yes Yes Copp et al., 2005a
Ralstonia solanacearum (bacterial wilt of potato) Yes
Rapana venosa (veined rapana whelk) Yes ICES, 2004
Rhamphicarpa fistulosaUncontrolled flooding of contaminated fields can cause seed dispersal into streams and rivers Yes
Rhopilema nomadica (nomad jellyfish)Known from the Red Sea and east coast of Africa Yes Yes Galil et al., 1990
Rutilus rutilus (roach)Accidental, probably in water diverted during a flood event, or dredging the outflow of lakes. Yes Stokes et al., 2006; Volta and Jepsen, 2008
Salvinia auriculata (giant salvinia) Yes Yes ISSG, 2009
Salvinia minima Yes Yes
Salvinia molesta (kariba weed) Yes McFarland et al., 2004
Sander lucioperca (pike-perch) Yes Yes
Sida acuta (sida) Yes Pettit and Froend, 2001
Siganus luridus (dusky spinefoot)From Red Sea to Mediterranean through Suez Canal Yes Yes Ben-Tuvia, 1964
Siganus rivulatus (marbled spinefoot)From Red Sea to Mediterranean through Suez Canal Yes Yes Por, 1978
Silurus asotus (Amur catfish) Yes Yes Manchin and Dgebuadze, 2010
Silybum marianum (variegated thistle) Yes
Squalius cephalus (European chub) Yes
Stenotaphrum secundatum (buffalo grass) Yes
Trapa natans (waterchestnut) Yes
Typha domingensis (southern cattail)Achenes and rhizomes disperse with water currents. Yes Grace and Harrison, 1986; Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
Typha latifolia (broadleaf cattail) Yes Hansen and Clevenger, 2005
Typha x glauca (hybrid cattail)Masses of fruits and hairs or rhizome fragments disperse with water currents Yes Grace and Harrison, 1986; Parsons and Cuthbertson, 1992
Umbra pygmaea (eastern mudminnow)Dispersal between southern Netherlands and northern Belgium Yes Verreycken et al., 2010
Urochloa distachya (signal grass)Species is tolerant of waterlogged soils Yes Yes Kissmann, 1997
Varanus niloticus (Nile monitor)Dispersed naturally Yes Enge et al., 2004