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Dos and Don'ts in Augmentative Biological Control: Insights from Mathematical Modelling

Sapna Nundloll 1
1 COMORE - Modeling and control of renewable resources
LOV - Laboratoire d'océanographie de Villefranche, CRISAM - Inria Sophia Antipolis - Méditerranée
Abstract : This thesis presents the mathematical analysis of models in augmentative biological control, from which practical guidelines are the derived. Biological control provides a means to fight pest invertebrates that attack crops with their natural predators. It is an essential component in efforts to reduce pesticide usage in agriculture. Pesticides pose a threat to human health, both to the agricultural worker and the consumer, as well as to the environment because of their toxicity : this largely motivates the need for current biological control programs to be improved and new ones developed. In this thesis, we look in particular at augmentative biological control, which involves the periodic release of predators that are not able to establish in an ecosystem in the absence of the pest, their primary prey. We introduce a general class of models that describe the intrinsic predator-prey dynamics by a pair of ordinary differential equations and the periodic releases by a discrete equation. We study the variants of this class of models, that may arise in a biological control set-up and highlight the consequences on the strategy of releases. We analyse the effect of intrapredatory interference occurring when the predator preys the pest, the impact of cannibalism among the predators, and finally the outcome of partial harvests of crops on the biological control program. Finally, we summarise the results of our mathematical analysis into a set of practical guidelines. We also report experiments on an agronomic predator-prey system, in which the predator species exhibits interfering behaviour. The experimental results validates out mathematical predictions.
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  • HAL Id : tel-00850358, version 1

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Sapna Nundloll. Dos and Don'ts in Augmentative Biological Control: Insights from Mathematical Modelling. Automatic. Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, 2010. English. ⟨tel-00850358⟩

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