brd logo usgs logo

Proceedings of the Workshop on Databases for Nonindigenous Plants


Abstract: The spread of nonindigenous plants threatens biological diversity and the functioning of natural ecosystems throughout the United States. It imposes land management problems and costs to both public and private sectors. Spatial information on these species, such as where they occur, how much land they cover, and their range of spread is currently managed by an array of independent and disassociated databases. Distribution information is instrumental for preventing and managing the spread of introduced plants.

The Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW) was instrumental in the conception and development of the workshop. Members endorsed the need for an inventory of databases and facilitated the identification and involvement of Federal and nonfederal programs that manage spatial data on nonindigenous plants. At the workshop, twenty-two scientists and data managers assembled to present their programs and to discuss topics associated with the management of occurrence data. It is hoped that this gathering and associated catalog of databases may help promote interagency coordination in the effort to determine and track the expanding distribution of introduced plants.


The Workshop on Databases for Nonindigenous Plants brought together a unique group interested in documenting, tracking, and monitoring the spread of nonindigenous plants. The workshop focused on developing a clearer picture of how databases are being or could be used to document the range and spread of nonindigenous plant populations across the nation. Additionally, it highlighted the importance of needed interagency tools for exchanging information and how information exchange might improve the ability to better document and track these species. By providing a forum to present and discuss databases, an initial step was taken in improving recognition and communication among data managers. The workshop also resulted in a survey and inventory of databases to be used as a resource for administrators and data managers.

The workshop was presented by the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program of the U.S. Geological Survey's Biological Resources Division in Gainesville, Florida. Additional financial support was provided by the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) program and publishing support by the National Wetlands Research Center, both also within the U.S. Geological Survey's Biological Resources Division.

Workshop Objectives

The workshop was intended to identify and develop an understanding of programs focused on managing spatial data on nonindigenous plant species. The primary objectives were:

  • Identify and describe current and planned programs that manage occurrence inventories or monitor distribution of nonindigenous plants.
  • Provide a summary and catalog of databases by identifying important properties, such as program purpose and specialty, biological and geographical coverage, data elements, software and formatting components, and accessibility of data sets.
  • Identify strategies for making data more accessible and improving interprogram coordination and data exchange.

[ Introduction ] [ Background on Issues ] [ Workshop highlights ]

[ Table 1 ] [ Table 2 ] [ List of Participants ] [ List of Acronyms ]

[ Information Survey ] [ Catalog of Databases ] [ Report Documentation ]

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Biological Resources Division