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Home / Plant Pathogens / Resources / Vectors and Pathways

Vectors and Pathways

Pathways are the means by which species are transported from one location to another. Natural pathways include wind, currents, and other forms of dispersal in which a specific species has developed morphological and behavioral characteristics to employ. Man-made pathways are those pathways which are enhanced or created by human activity. These pathways can be either intentional and unintentional.

A winding road

Diagram of transportation related pathways including all the various pathways related to the transportation of people and goods, such as miltary travel and transportation of military vehichles. Created by Don MacLean USFWS

Fruit fly

Diagram of living industry pathways for the spread of invasive species; including all pathways associated with living organisms or their by-products. Created by Don MacLean, USFWS

A moose standing in water

Pathways not covered under transportation or living industries, including biocontrol; other aquatic pathways; natural spread; and ecosystem disturbance. Created by Don MacLean USFWS

Resources related to pathways and risk assessment

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service agency logo

USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine. Center for Plant Health Science and Technology.

The Program focuses on collecting and interpreting scientific evidence and technical information regarding plant pest risks. This information is used to design risk-based policies and regulation for import, export, and domestic programs.