A two-component model of host-parasitoid interactions: Determination of the size of inundative releases of parasitoids in biological pest control. (English) Zbl 0966.92026

Summary: A two-component differential equation model is formulated for a host-parasitoid interaction. Transient dynamics and population crashes of this system are analysed using differential inequalities. Two different cases can be distinguished: either the intrinsic growth rate of the host population is smaller than the maximum growth rate of the parasitoid or vice versa. In the latter case, the initial ratio of parasitoids to hosts should exceed a given threshold, in order to (temporarily) halt the growth of the host population. When not only oviposition but also host-feeding occurs the dynamics do not change qualitatively. In the case that the maximum growth rate of the parasitoid population is smaller than the intrinsic growth rate of the host, a threshold still exists for the number of parasitoids in an inundative release in order to limit the growth of the host population.
The size of an inundative release of parasitoids, which is necessary to keep the host population below a certain level, can be determined from the two-component model. When parameter values for hosts and parasitoids are known, an effective control of pests can be found. First it is determined whether the parasitoids are able to suppress their hosts fully. Moreover, using our simple rule of thumb it can be assessed whether suppression is also possible when the relative growth rate of the host population exceeds that of the parasitoid population. With a numerical investigation of our simple system the design of parasitoid release strategies for specific situations can be computed.


92D40 Ecology
92D30 Epidemiology
93C95 Application models in control theory
Full Text: DOI


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