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Appears in Collections:Computing Science and Mathematics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Evaluating the efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes for the biological control of crop pests: A nonequilibrium approach
Author(s): Fenton, Andrew
Norman, Rachel
Fairbairn, Jonathan P
Hudson, Peter J
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Keywords: biological control
entomopathogenic nematodes
insect pathogen
nonequilibrium analysis
transient dynamics
models of intermediate complexity
Issue Date: Oct-2001
Date Deposited: 22-Aug-2012
Citation: Fenton A, Norman R, Fairbairn JP & Hudson PJ (2001) Evaluating the efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes for the biological control of crop pests: A nonequilibrium approach. American Naturalist, 158 (4), pp. 408-425.;
Abstract: The efficacy of entomopathogenic nematodes for biological control is assessed using deterministic models. Typically, the examination of such models involves stability analyses to determine the long‐term persistence of control. However, in agricultural systems, control is often needed within a single season. Hence, the transient dynamics of the systems were assessed under specific, short‐term control scenarios using stage‐structured models. Analyses suggest that preemptive application may be the optimum strategy if nematode mortality rates are low; applying before pest invasion can result in greater control than applying afterward. In addition, repeated applications will suppress a pest, providing the application rate exceeds a threshold. However, the period between applications affects control success, so the economic injury level of the crop and the life history of the pest should be evaluated before deciding the strategy. In all scenarios, the most important parameter influencing control is the transmission rate. These findings are applicable to more traditional biological control agents (e.g., microparasites and parasitoids), and we recommend the approach adopted here when considering their practical use. It is concluded that it is essential to consider the specific crop and pest characteristics and the definition of control success before selecting the appropriate control strategy.
DOI Link: 10.1086/321993
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository; Published in The American Naturalist by The University of Chicago Press. The original publication is available at

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