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When managers forage for pests: Implementing the functional response in pest management
In this study, we explore how the functional response framework can be imple-
mented in pest management. Here, managers take the role of predators foraging
on pests and facing monetary costs for survey and control in a spatial domain
where the pest distribution and control strategy do not have to be random.
To investigate this framework quantitatively, we simulated various manage-
ment processes on different pest spatial distributions using a spatially-explicit
individual-based model and Monte-Carlo simulations, and also confirmed some
of the results analytically. By graphing the number of pests controlled versus
pest density, we obtained management functional response curves. Whether
the management functional response was shaped like a type I, type II or type
III functional response depended on the management costs and the search area.
However, the management spatial strategy and the pest spatial distribution had
little effect on the functional response. We applied our model to the manage-
ment of mountain pine beetle epidemic in Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan, Canada,
with simulations matching the real number of attacked trees controlled by man-
agers. We showed how to make an analogy between functional responses in
predator-prey interactions and in human-pest interactions and thereby, apply
insights from the functional response framework to pest management.
- Date created
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- Article (Draft / Submitted)