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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 419937
Title Biological control of invasive plant species: A stochastic analysis
Author(s) Chalak, S.M.; Ruijs, A.J.W.; Ierland, E.C. van
Source Weed Biology and Management 11 (2011)3. - ISSN 1444-6162 - p. 137 - 151.
Department(s) Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) integrated weed management - cirsium-arvense - sclerotinia-sclerotiorum - pest-management - new-zealand - resistance - dynamics - weevil - information - populations
Abstract Biological control agents are regarded as a relatively safe method to control weeds. However, their impact on weeds can be relatively low and unpredictable. The aims of this article were to: (i) assess whether or not a weevil (Apion onopordi) and a mycoherbicide (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) are desirable as biological agents for the control of Californian thistle (Cirsium arvense) in New Zealand despite their uncertain effectiveness; (ii) identify the combination of control options that is optimal to control the thistle; (iii) analyze the economic consequences of excluding chemicals from the weed control strategy; and (iv) assess the feasibility of the eradication of this weed. Two optimization models were developed and compared: one deterministic model and one stochastic model. The results showed that taking into account the stochastic effectiveness of biological agents can change the optimal integrated strategy, particularly if the biological control agent is relatively expensive. However, for a cheaper biological agent, the stochastic efficacy is less likely to change the optimal control strategy. On the basis of the modeling results, the authors argue that, in the context of the agri-environmental setting of this article's case study, chemicals can be replaced by more environmentally friendly control options at a relatively low cost. The authors also show that the eradication of the thistle is unlikely, at least given the efficacy of the existing control methods.
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