Difference between an Introduced Species and an Invasive Species

Introduced Species

It is an exotic species that is living outside its natural habitat. It may or may not create harm to its new habitat. Most introduced species with a negative impact are categorised as invasive species. Beneficial species include biocontrol agents that are deliberately introduced. Most plants like maize, tomatoes, and pumpkins were introduced into India.

When a new organism (plant/animal) is introduced into an ecosystem, they multiply quickly as they don’t have any natural predators/pests in the new environment. Thus, their growth can create competition for resources and affect the growth of native species.

Invasive Species

It is a non-native organism that has a negative impact on its new ecosystem. Invasive species can become adversely overpopulated and damage the new habitat. It is a serious environmental and ecological threat.

A species can either be introduced deliberately or by accident. Some can alter the nutrient cycle, hydrology and also the frequency of bushfires. Examples – Tamarix, Spartina alterniflora, Bromus tectorum.

Difference between an Introduced Species and an Invasive Species

Introduced Species

Invasive Species

They are non-native species that can be harmful or sometimes beneficial.

They are non-native species that create complete harm to the native species.

It includes biocontrol agents as well as invasive species.

It is a subset of introduced species that specifically includes harmful non-natives.

They may or may not have an effect on the displacement of native species.

They have an effect on the displacement of native species.

Examples – Western honey bee, Peaches, Japanese knotweed, etc.

Examples – Zebra mussel, Cane toad, Water hyacinth, etc.

Also Read: Endemic Species

Frequently Asked Questions


What are feral animals?

Animals that escaped captivity or domestication and live in a wild environment are termed feral animals. They are a type of introduced species that can sometimes harm the non-native ecosystem. Examples include dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, pigs and camels.


What are indigenous species?

Any species that is native to a particular habitat is termed indigenous species. They are present in the natural ecosystem without any human interventions. Also, they create biological interactions with other organisms in their natural biota and form communities.

Also see: What is species diversity?

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