The following is a guest post from Ignasi Bartomeus, originally posted on his blog on 26 Nov, 2012. Check out a related blog post here. Note the functionality discussed in this post is now in our taxize package under the function gisd_isinvasive. We hacked out a quick Shiny app so you can play around with the below function in taxize on the web to get invasive status and plot it on a phylogeny. Check it out here.

Ignasi Bartomeus


Celebrating that I am contributing to the blog aggregator I am going to post a very simple function to check which species (both plants and animals) are considered “invaders” somewhere in the world. Basically the function asks that to the Global Invasive Species Database (GISD).

I coded this because a friend of mine aks me precisely that question [Yes, friends assumes you should know this kind of stuff (and also why the plants of their balcony are dying) off the top of your head just because you are a biologist]. However, I do not know much things and I am too lazy to check all 250 species one by one on the GISD webpage. Also is a good R practice, and I am ok investing some work time on personal projects. Google (and other big companies) encourage it’s employees to spend 20% of the time working on projects that aren’t necessarily in their job descriptions in order to bust its innovation power, so that should be even more important in science!

Hope it can be useful to more people, I uploaded the code as a Gist:

UPDATE: The function is now available on taxize R package developed by the rOpenScience people!

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