Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences (2012) 279, 2807-2815
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Bioeconomic synergy between tactics for insect eradication in the presence of Allee effects
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 279 (1739), 2807-2815
Abstract: Preventing the establishment of invading pest species can be beneficial with respect to averting future environmental and economic impacts and also in preventing the accumulation of control costs. Allee effects play an important role in the dynamics of newly established, low-density populations by driving small populations into self-extinction, making Allee effects critical in influencing outcomes of eradication efforts. We consider interactions between management tactics in the presence of Allee effects to determine cost-effective and time-efficient combinations to achieve eradication by developing a model that considers pesticide application, predator augmentation and mating disruption as control tactics, using the gypsy moth as a case study. Our findings indicate that given a range of constant expenditure levels, applying moderate levels of pesticides in conjunction with mating disruption increases the Allee threshold which simultaneously substantially decreases the time to eradication relative to either tactic alone. In contrast, increasing predation in conjunction with other tactics requires larger economic expenditures to achieve similar outcomes for the use of pesticide application or mating disruption alone. These results demonstrate the beneficial synergy that may arise from nonlinearities associated with the simultaneous application of multiple eradication tactics and offer new prospects for preventing the establishment of damaging non-native species.
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