The Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plant Information Retrieval System (APIRS)


Related sites:


For further information on the APIRS collection, contact:

Karen Brown
University of Florida
Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plant Information Retrieval System (APIRS)
7922 NW 71st Street
Gainesville, FL 32653-3071

The Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plant Information Retrieval System (APIRS)

The Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plant Information Retrieval System (APIRS) collection for Florida (5,500 + records) is a bibliographic database that has been compiled by Victor Ramey and Karen Brown at the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. The total collection is world-wide in scope and contains more than 58,000 annotated citations to the literature, including grey literature such as proceedings and government reports. Records specific to Florida have been extracted for inclusion in Florida Environments Online (FEOL). To access the complete database, go to: To access the entire CAIP web site, which contains photographs, line drawings, basic and detailed information about many aquatic, wetland and invasive plant species, prohibited plant laws and lists, a list of plant manuals and field guides, and much more, go to:

The APIRS database was begun with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development in 1979 in order to assist developing countries with informational needs regarding the control and management of extremely invasive aquatic weeds. Aquatic weeds often cause life-threatening problems in these countries where water bodies are used extensively for transportation, subsistence fishing and livestock watering, drinking and household water, and crop irrigation.

Later funding was provided by the Florida Department of Natural Resources (now the Department of Environmental Protection) Bureau of Aquatic Plant Management (now the Bureau of Invasive Plant Management), charged with the management of state waters, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE), charged with the management of federal navigable waterways. Additional funding has been received from the St Johns River Water Management District.

In the 1950's, much of the St. Johns River (classified as a federal navigable waterway and within the USACOE's jurisdiction) was completely covered from shoreline to shoreline with the exotic invasive weed, water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). The massive infestation stretched from Jacksonville south through Astor Park and below. Extensive and costly efforts were required to control the water hyacinths and maintain it at manageable levels. Maintenance control is still required today.

The CAIP/APIRS collection was eventually expanded to include the scientific literature on all aquatic and wetland plant species world-wide, and most recently, upland invasive species in Florida. It is still growing and is updated regularly.