The primary challenge associated with invasive species ecology is management of introduction vectors. The figure below illustrates the framework used to describe invasive species pathways and threats, including the primary pathways of introduction as well as the techniques commonly used to manage the threats, and the priorities for protection from threats. The framework includes 10 primary pathways of introduction: Air transportation/cargo, water transportation, land transportation, items used in shipping, travel tourism/relocation, plant pathways-plant trade, food pathways, non-food animal pathways, non-food animal, other aquatic pathways, natural spread, and ecosystem disturbances.


AI = Aquatic invertebrates (and larval stages)

ADP = Animal disease pathogens and parasites

AP = Aquatic plants

HFO = Hull-fouling organisms

IN = Insects

INV = Terrestrial, non-insect invertebrates

MBV = Microbes, bacteria, and viruses

PDP = Plant disease pathogens

PS = Terrestrial plants and seeds

V = Vertebrates