eventually merge with the slow-moving main population.4
This type of movement is
In my research, I assume that the gypsy moth population
behaves like a mainland-island metapopulation, i.e., “a population of populations”6
consisting of a mainland population and several smaller dispersed island populations. The best management solution may be a mixed strategy involving intervention on both the small dispersed island populations and the main population front.7 By examining the
gypsy moth population as a metapopulation, we can focus mainly on the dynamics of the small patches but also assume that the source of dispersal is from the main wavelike large population front. My research is aimed at developing a useful mathematical tool to optimize the plan of attack for the control of this invasive species.
Stochastic Dynamic Programming as a Management Tool
Stochastic Dynamic Programming (SDP) is an ideal management tool in the case of invasive species control because it can be used to generate solutions to problems of optimal decision-making. SDP requires the assumption that the state of the system is dynamic and therefore can change, but in order to use it we must define a discrete state space. To further limit the changes in the state of the system, constraints must be imposed on the system and finally the optimization criterion must be outlined. Because the dimensions of the state space can become overwhelmingly large, SDP models are typically solved numerically.8,9
After receiving widespread attention in behavioral ecology,8 SDP has emerged as a
valuable problem-solving tool in studies of biological control, agroecology, and conservation.10 For example, SDP was used to find the strategy that maximizes the number of successful releases of a biological control agent.11 In problems of fire management, SDP helped determine the optimal fire management strategy where threatened species were...
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