Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Research (pathway cause)



Research (pathway cause)


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

  • Research (pathway cause)

Species Transported by Cause

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SpeciesNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Acacia angustissima (prairie acacia)Introduced as a model plant to study its potential as fodder, reforestation and agroforestry. Yes Cole et al., 1996; Dzowela et al., 1997; Hove et al., 2003; Musara and Chitamba, 2015; Paula et al., 2015
Acacia longifolia (golden wattle)Focus of research mainly in Portugal and South Africa. Yes EFSA Panel on Plant Health, 2015
Achatina fulica (giant African land snail) Yes
Aegilops cylindrica Yes
Albizia chinensis (Chinese albizia) Yes
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) Yes Yes
Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed) Yes Yes
Ammotragus lervia (aoudad)The captive population at the EEZA-CSIC, in Spain, was originated in order to preserve the populatio Yes Cano and Vericad, 1983
Annona reticulata (bullock's heart)Has been subject of much propagation breeding Yes Yes Janick and Paull, 2008
Anolis extremus (Barbados anole)First introduction to Trinidad for research Yes Boos, 1967
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) Yes Cole et al., 1996
Avipoxvirus Yes
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) Yes Yes Weldon et al., 2007
Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal)Disease could be spread by field researchers who do not adhere to field hygiene protocols Yes Cole et al., 1996
Belonesox belizanus (pike killifish)Introduced into southern Florida in 1957 when individuals reared for medical research purposes were Yes Yes Belshe, 1961
Bontia daphnoides (white alling)One of the species used to test for in vitro microbial contamination Yes Pence, 2005
Brachypodium distachyon (purple false brome)A model for the grasses used to produce biomass, food, feed and forage Yes USDA-JGI, 2016
Brachypodium sylvaticum (slender false brome)Not documented but possible.Could easily be moved to uninfested areas of a site by people Yes Yes
Brassica juncea (mustard) Yes Yes
Brassica rapa (field mustard)Rapid Cycling Brassica rapa (Fast Plants Type) developed to be used as a research model Yes Yes Cole et al., 1996
Bubalus bubalis (Asian water buffalo)Introduced by University of Florida (USA) for research as a control agent for aquatic weeds, as well Yes NRC, 2002
Carcinus maenas (European shore crab)Is a possibility as they are shipped around the world for research and education Yes Yes
Cavia porcellus (domesticated guinea pig)Global; since 1800s C. porcellus has been used as a laboratory animal Yes
Cenchrus ciliaris (Buffel grass) Yes Brenner, 2010
Cherax destructor (yabby) Yes Yes Cole et al., 1996; Cole et al., 1996; Cole et al., 1996; Cole et al., 1996; Cole et al., 1996
Cherax quadricarinatus (redclaw crayfish) Yes Yes
Cichlasoma urophthalmum (Mayan cichlid)Model for natural sciences research (e.g. ecology) Yes Yes Schofield et al., 2016
Ciona intestinalis (sea vase) Yes
Ciona savignyi Yes
Cissus quadrangularis (treebine)Research on obesity, osteoporosis and for weight loss supplements Yes Yes Oben et al., 2006
Cornu aspersum (common garden snail) Yes
Crassostrea virginica (eastern oyster) Yes Yes
Cuscuta campestris (field dodder) Yes
Datura metel (Hindu datura)Species has been subject of medicinal research for its high alkaloid content Yes Yes
Didymosphenia geminata (didymo)Potential form of introduction Yes Yes
Eragrostis plana (South African lovegrass)Before it was recognized as an invasive species in Brazil Yes Reis, 1993; Kissmann, 1997
Eucheuma spp. Yes Yes
Faxonius rusticus (rusty crayfish)As lab animal in schools Yes Kilian et al., 2012
Faxonius virilis (virile crayfish)Specimens used for education and research can escape and be released into the wild Yes Yes Larson and Olden, 2008
Galega officinalis (goatsrue) Yes
Geophagus brasiliensis (pearl cichlid)Australia and Brazil Yes Yes Graaf and Coutts, 2010; Gutierre et al., 2014
Gracilaria tikvahiae (graceful red weed) Yes Yes University of Hawaii, 2008
Grapevine red blotch virus (grapevine red blotch virus) Yes Reynard et al., 2018
Heracleum sosnowskyi (Sosnowskyi's hogweed)Research associated with breeding/crop improvement or studying medicinal and/or chemical properties Yes Boodiak et al., 1981; Demidov and Satsyperova, 1989; Dotsenko and Demidov, 1985; Lipnitskij, 1996; Satsiperova, 1984; Satsyperova and Budyak, 1980; Tkachenko, 2006; Yartiev and Yartieva, 1984
Herichthys cyanoguttatus (Rio Grande cichlid)Biological research Yes Lorenz, 2008
Heterodera glycines (soybean cyst nematode) Yes Yes
Heterotis niloticus (African bonytongue)Deliberate Yes Yes Adite et al., 2005
Homarus americanus (American lobster) Yes Cole et al., 1996
Hypostomus plecostomus (suckermouth catfish)Biological studies Yes Yes Pound et al., 2011
Indian cassava mosaic virus (Indian cassava mosaic)Cassava stem cuttings moved for research purposes could inadvertently facilitate virus spread if not rigorously tested and certified. Yes
Iris domestica (blackberry lily)Pharmacological research mainly for cancer treatment Yes Yes Cole et al., 1996
Isometrus maculatus (lesser brown scorpion) Yes Yes
Lemna aequinoctialis (lesser duckweed)Research model for physiological and environmental studies Yes Yes Khurana et al., 2011
Leonurus sibiricus (Siberian motherwort)Recent research on potential for medicinal uses Yes Yes Schmidt et al., 2013; Pitschmann et al., 2016
Lepidium perfoliatum (clasping pepperweed)L. perfoliatum seed gum has potential to be used as a plant hydrocolloid Yes Hesarinejad et al., 2014
Lepomis gibbosus (pumpkinseed)Physiological research Yes Yes Kramer, 1971; Kramer, 1972; Kramer, 1973
Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena) Yes
Liberibacter africanus (African greening)Research organistaions Yes
Liberibacter asiaticus (Asian greening)Research organisations Yes
Limnocharis flava (yellow bur-head) Yes
Litopenaeus vannamei (whiteleg shrimp)Research institutes have moved this species worldwide Yes Yes Briggs et al., 2004
Marisa cornuarietis (giant ramshorn)Widely utilized internationally as laboratory experiment animals Yes Yes
Melaleuca quinquenervia (paperbark tree) Yes
Mononychellus tanajoa (cassava green mite)Accidental introduction, rare pathway Yes Yes Yaninek et al., 1989b
Moringa oleifera (horse radish tree) Yes Yes Palada et al., 2017
Nicotiana plumbaginifolia (Tex-Mex tobacco)A model species for plant physiology, genetics, plant genetic transformation and transgenic research Yes Yes Knapp and Clarkson, 2004
Oreochromis aureus (blue tilapia)Accidental introduction. Please see distribution table and list for additional details Yes Yes Welcomme, 1988
Oryza barthiiAssumed Yes
Paspalum dilatatum (dallisgrass)breeding work carried out to increase resistance to ergot and anthracnose, and to improve management of the species Yes Yes Glison et al., 2015; PROTA, 2017
Pear blister canker viroid Yes Yes
Pectobacterium brasiliense (soft rot and blackleg of ornamentals and potato) Yes Yes
Penaeus monodon (giant tiger prawn)Research institutes and universities worldwide have imported this species Yes Yes Briggs et al., 2004
Phragmites australis (common reed) Yes
Plasmodiophora brassicae (club root)Infested soil or disease roots could be distributed globally for research purposes Yes
Plum pox virus (sharka)Budwood exchange. Yes
Poecilia latipinna (sailfin molly)Popular ornamental fish translocated for biological research Yes Yes Fischer and Schlupp, 2009
Pomacea maculataUnlikely to result in an establishment of an invasive population Yes
Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite)Species introduction trials Yes Pasiecznik et al., 2001
Prosopis juliflora (mesquite)Part of species trials Yes Pasiecznik et al., 2001
Python bivittatus (Burmese python)Considered a 'model organism' for physiological research Yes Yes Secor and Diamond, 1998
Quelea quelea (weaver bird)Some quelea birds have been transported for research in the past but were mostly bought from pet tra Yes Yes
Rana catesbeiana (American bullfrog) Yes Yes
Rocio octofasciata (Jack Dempsey)Biological research model Yes Yes Shafland and Pestrak, 1982
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)Valuable commercial herb, subject of research for breeding and cultivation Yes Yes
Rottboellia cochinchinensis (itch grass)Itchgrass seed found as contaminant of seed in germplasm collections received at IRRI Yes Yes Huelma et al., 1996; Murphy and Cheesman, 2006
Rubus ellipticus (yellow Himalayan raspberry) Yes Gardner, 1999
Salvia splendens (scarlet sage) Yes Yes DAISIE, 2014
Schizolobium parahyba (Brazilian fern tree)At experimental forest plantations in Brazil for research for agroforestry. Yes Trianoski et al., 2011
Sciaenops ocellatus (red drum)USA/Taiwan Yes
Securigera varia (crown vetch)Available for research at South Africa Yes Nunkumar et al., 2008
Solanum tuberosum (potato) Yes Yes
Sorghum halepense (Johnson grass) Yes Yes
Spartina anglica (common cordgrass)Uk to Norway Yes Christiansen and Møller, 1983
Tamarix ramosissima (saltcedar)For species trial Yes
Thorichthys meeki (firemouth cichlid)Biological research model Yes Yes Cole et al., 1996; Cole et al., 1996
Tilapia zillii (redbelly tilapia)Accidental introduction Yes Yes Tarkan et al., 2014
Tomato apical stunt viroid Yes Yes
Trichopodus trichopterus (three spot gourami) Yes Yes Degani, 1989
Ulva reticulata (ribbon sea lettuce)May be brought to other destinations dead or alive for various experimental purposes Yes Yes Paula et al., 1998; Takeshi et al., 2005; Varghese et al., 2010
Vigna marina (beach bean)As a source of salt tolerance genes Yes Yes Genesys, 2015
Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog) Yes