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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Invasive species information resources

CABI's invasive species and livelihoods website

As a result, we have created a website which highlights some of the most damaging species, the impacts on the lives of smallholder farmers in Africa and South East Asia and links through to more detailed information from our Invasive Species Compendium.

CABI's invasive species compendium

Providing free access to up-to-date datasheets, records and information, CABI curates and manages the Invasive Species Compendium. This database is a comprehensive resource for those working in the field of invasive species management from identification, economic assessment and management of invasive species around the world.

CABI's invasives blog

CABI's invasives blog provides you with stories about our research and debates on topical issues in the field of invasive species from CABI's scientists from around the world.

Azolla Control

Azolla is one of the most invasive plants in the UK today. CABI rears and supplies weevils that control and are made available to those managing water bodies including land owners, English Nature, British Waterways and the Environment agency.

Japanese Knotweed Alliance

The Japanese Knotweed Alliance website gives you information about our project in Great Britain and the release of the psyllid, Aphalara itadori to help stop the spread of Japanese knotweed - 

Our Himalayan balsam website provides information about this problematic weed and our search for a biocontrol agent - 

Our project work

We deliver a range of research and development projects that are solving major invasive species problems around the world. Through our work, we provide long-term and sustainable benefits.

Japanese knotweed by a road

Case study: Invasives species in Great Britain

Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) can have a detrimental effect on biodiversity, crop production and livelihoods across the world, and Great Britain is not exempt. This case study highlights some of the most troublesome invasive species in Great Britain and what they are costing the country.

Demonstrating the cost of invasive species to Great Britain (PDF)

Describing pest damaged cassavsa

Case study: biological control of invasive species 

Non-native invasive species, such as insect pests and weeds, have a huge impact on livelihoods, food production and biodiversity around the world. CABI tackles this issue by using classical biological control which provides a sustainable and cost-effective control method and minimizes the use of pesticides. In this case study, we outline three examples from programmes where CABI has played a role, and provide results from a further five studies. 

Safeguarding the environment, food security and livelihoods from invasive species using biological controls (PDF)

UK weed biocontrol updates

Weed biocontrol projects update

Defra is funding CABI to investigate the biological control of invasive, non-native aquatic and riverside weeds. This could help protect habitats where chemical and mechanical control are impractical or prohibitively expensive; and to help meet requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive. 


CABI responds to EU proposals to regulate Invasives

The EU has recently (September 9, 2013) drafted Regulations to protect member states against the adverse impacts of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). 

Read CABI's response to the proposals 

Himalayan balsam 

Himalayan blasam video

This video gives you an in-depth view of the detrimental effect of the invasive weed Himalayan balsam on the British countryside and how CABI is employing biological pest control methods in order to combat it.

filming in the farming community of Gilgil

Invasive species in Africa
The 'Green Invasion – Destroying Livelihoods in Africa' shows the extent of weed infestations with accounts from community members on how they are impacting on traditions, cultures and a way of life for millions of people on the continent.

 Floating pennywort

Floating pennywort
CABI scientists have published a new paper in Aquatic Botany detailing the effect of floating pennywort's natural enemies. G. C. Walsh, M. Maestroa, R. ShawM. Seier, G. CortatD. Djeddour (2103) Persistence of floating pennywort patches (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides, Araliaceae) in a canal in its native temperate range: Effect of its natural enemies. Aquatic Botany  Volume 110, October 2013, Pages 78–83

 Invasive species in Africa

Invasive species book

Written by Gordon Boy and CABI's Arne Witt, this book provides an account of how a multi-country 'war on weeds' project has contributed to improved management of Invasive Alien Species in Africa. The book provides an account of how the major barriers to invasive plant management were largely overcome in Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia during a five–year UNEP-GEF funded project. 


About CABI's invasive species work in Asia
CABI's Arne Witt talks about our ongoing work with the Joint Lab China and national Governments to prevent and manage the spread of invasive species throughout Asia.

Watch Arne Witt outline our Asia invasive species work

Himalayan balsam infographic thumb

New paper and infographic: Himalayan balsam and its impact on UK invertebrates
A paper by CABI scientists details the results and discusses the implications for habitat restoration.

Biological control of apple leaf-curling midge in Canada

A European biological control agent may help control an exotic pest of apple trees in western Canada. Damage from the apple leaf-curling midge in eastern Canada was effectively reduced by introducing a European natural enemy, Platygaster demades, in the 1990s. The pest arrived in British Columbia more recently, where releases of P. demades are now... >>

Action on Invasives

Invasive species impact the livelihoods of the rural poor who are dependent on natural resources for income and food security. CABI is implementing an ambitious programme to address this complex issue. We are working with local, national and regional partners, and across agriculture, environment and other sectors, to create an integrated and... >>

Biological control of hawkweeds

European hawkweeds are invasive in North American pastures, where mechanical methods of control are difficult and ineffective. Chemical control with broad-spectrum herbicides is not selective and relatively expensive, with the weed often recolonising untreated pastures. Insects that feed on hawkweeds in Europe have been studied as potential... >>

Revisiting biological control of field bindweed

Field bindweed is a Eurasian vine whose dense creeping and twining growth smothers other vegetation and its long-lived seeds and deep roots make it hard to control. It is a noxious weed of agricultural fields in temperate regions and has become invasive in North America. CABI is studying sustainable control methods using host-specific natural... >>

Biological control of garlic mustard

Crushed garlic mustard leaves and seeds smell like cultivated garlic and have been used as flavouring in cooking for centuries. Garlic mustard is a brassica from Eurasia that was accidentally taken to North America and became invasive in many of its forests. Together with partners, CABI is exploring the possibility of using specially selected and... >>

Invasive species data

Invasive species are causing species extinction. We are trying to address this problem by providing sound scientific information that will be used by endangered species managers to improve their efforts to recover listed and candidate species affected by invasive species. The information will also be used by invasive species managers to control... >>

Biological control of flowering rush

Attractive pink flowers make the Eurasian plant flowering rush a popular aquatic ornamental. But since it was introduced to North America it has become an aggressive invader of freshwater systems in the midwestern/ western USA and western Canada. One likely reason for this is the absence of the natural enemies that keep it in check in its area of... >>