Estimating the impact of control efforts: models of population dynamics

K. SheaA, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.

A Present address: CSIRO Division of Entomology, Co-operative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems, GPO Box 1700, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.


Population models can be used as a decision tool in the assessment of potential management plans, and can also improve evaluation of biological control and integrated pest management efforts. I illustrate this by discussing simple, data-based matrix models for the population dynamics of a thistle in New Zealand. Analyses and simulations indicate which are the most important state variables (thus facilitating efficient data collection), and which life history transitions are most crucial to population growth. This information can be used to investigate the potential of different control efforts. In this example, it seems that no one approach will control the weed, but that an integrated management approach has some chance of success. Models, used in conjunction with experimental studies, are a useful tool in planning and assessing pest control strategies.


Plant Protection Quarterly (1996) 11 (Supplement 2) 263-265.