Pareto-efficient biological pest control enable high efficacy at small costs

Lundstrom NL, Zhang H, & Brännström Å (2017). Pareto-efficient biological pest control enable high efficacy at small costs. Ecological Modelling 364: 89-97. DOI:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2017.08.015.

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Biological pest control is increasingly used in agriculture as a an alternative to traditional chemical pest control. In many cases, this involves a one-off or periodic release of entomopathogens. As the interaction between the entomopathogen and the pest is complex and the production of entomopathogens potentially expensive, it is not surprising that both the efficacy and economic viability of biological pest control are debated. Here, we investigate the performance of very simple control strategies. In particular, we show how Pareto-efficient one-off or periodic release strategies, which optimally trade off between efficacy and economic viability, can be devised and used to enable high efficacy for small economic costs. We demonstrate our method on a pest-pathogen-crop model with a tunable immigration rate of pests. By analyzing this model, we demonstrate that simple Pareto-efficient one-off release strategies are typically efficacious and simultaneously have average profits that are close to the theoretical maximum obtained by less efficacious and complicated profit-optimizing strategies. The only exception occurs for high pest-immigration rates, in which case periodic release is preferable. The methods presented here can be extended to more complex scenarios and thus be used to identify promising biological pest control strategies in many circumstances.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pareto frontier; pest management; optimization; dual target; Spodoptera litura
Research Programs: Evolution and Ecology (EEP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2017 20:47
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2018 06:33

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