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The Role of Prey Taxis in Biological Control: A Spatial Theoretical Model

Abstract : We study a reaction-diffusion-advection model for the dynamics of populations under biological control. A control agent is assumed to be a predator species that has the ability to perceive the heterogeneity of pest distribution. The advection term represents the predator density movement according to a basic prey taxis assumption: acceleration of predators is proportional to the prey density gradient. The prey population reproduces logistically, and the local population interactions follow the Holling Type II trophic function. On the scale of the population, our spatially explicit approach subdivides the predation process into random movement represented by diffusion, directed movement described by prey taxis, local prey encounters, and consumption modeled by the trophic function. Thus, our model allows studying the effects of large-scale predator spatial activity on population dynamics. We show under which conditions spatial patterns are generated by prey taxis and how this affects the predator ability to maintain the pest population below some economic threshold. In particular, intermediate taxis activity can stabilize predator-pest populations at a very low level of pest density, ensuring successful biological control. However, very intensive prey taxis destroys the stability, leading to chaotic dynamics with pronounced outbreaks of pest density.
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Contributor : Natalia Sapoukhina <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 6:56:44 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 3:01:08 AM




Natalia Sapoukhina, Yuri Tyutyunov, Roger Arditi. The Role of Prey Taxis in Biological Control: A Spatial Theoretical Model. American Naturalist, University of Chicago Press, 2003, 162 (1), pp.61-76. ⟨10.1086/375297⟩. ⟨hal-02966140⟩



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