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Providing information and techniques for managing invasive species

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Controlling invasive species requires relevant information on their biology, ecology and life history. Finding this information is becoming increasingly difficult as the number of reports, articles and other media on invasive species increases rapidly. To manage this growing knowledge base, ERDC’s Environmental Laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi, has developed the Invasive Species Information System.

Information on more than 260 Invasive Species

The Invasive Species Information System provides access to information on the identification, biology, ecology and associated management strategies for more than 260 invasive species. Types of species include:

  • Amphibians and reptiles: At least 60 exotic amphibian and reptile species have been introduced to the continental United States and Hawaii in the past century. As permanent inhabitants, they now cause serious environmental problems.
  • Plants: Information on more than 185 species of aquatic, wetland and terrestrial plants. This includes chemical, biological and management techniques, as well as two different plant identification systems.
  • Fish: Information on more than 40 species of invasive fish species and includes details on the taxonomy, identification, biology and distribution of these species. The system also offers current literature on invasive fish species.
  • Invertebrates: Information on more than 20 invasive invertebrate species including water fleas, killer shrimp, zebra mussels and crayfish. 
  • Birds: Cygnus olor is currently the only invasive bird species in the system.
  • Mammals: Myocastor coypus is currently the only invasive mammalian species in the system.

Expert Information and Identification Support

The Invasive Species Information System features an easy-to-use portal with sections on the ecology, biology, taxonomy, identification and management techniques for particular invasive species. The identification system uses professional criteria to classify invasive species, allowing users to exchange information as they would with expert scientists. This system leads to more accurate identification and management of numerous invasive species.

Success Story

ERDC developed the Invasive Species Information System from a series of CD and web-based information systems that received national and international acclaim for providing accessible and pertinent facts on invasive species management. These systems include the Noxious and Nuisance Plant Management Information System (PMIS), the Aquatic Plant Information System (APIS), the Zebra Mussel Information System (ZMIS), and the Aquatic Nuisance Species Information System (ANSIS). Researchers and personnel at the local, state and federal levels have used these systems to develop effective invasive species management plans. For example, the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB) designated the PMIS as its official technical information manual.


Sherry.L.Whitaker@usace.army.mil, 601 634 2990

EL Environmental Laboratory ERDC Invasive Species Information System USACE