Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: OBJECT MODELING AND SCALING OF LANDSCAPE PROCESSES AND CONSERVATION EFFECTS IN AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS Title: Insect Pests Models and Insecticide Application

Authors
item Ascough, James
item Fathelrahman, Eihab
item McMaster, Gregory

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Ecology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 27, 2007
Publication Date: July 22, 2008
Citation: Ascough II, J.C., Fathelrahman, E.M., Mcmaster, G.S. 2008. Insect Pest Models and Insecticide Application. In: Jorgensen, S.E., Faith, B.D. editors. Ecological Models. Vol. (3) Encyclopedia of Ecology., 5 vols. Oxford, Elsevier. p. 1978-1985.

Interpretive Summary: In the past, the dominant approach in theoretical pest management ecology has emphasized the use of simple analytical or mathematical models and the analysis of systems in equilibrium. Recent advancements in computer technology have provided the opportunity for ecological insect modelers to move away from this dominant approach and create new methodologies for explaining population and community dynamics. The new approaches emphasize greater realism in the models and greater testing of the models in the field. Because ecological theory cannot be generally applicable without being realistic, true generality in a theoretical model is impossible without realism. Complex simulation models are often more accurate (realistic) and easier to relate to field situations than simpler analytical models. The creation of valid, complex numerical models for a few specific cases is a valuable step in the development of new theory. Greater access to supercomputers in the future will facilitate the use of complex numerical models that incorporate extensive ecological knowledge. In this chapter, the role of models in ecological- and insecticide-based pest control strategies are first discussed, followed by a description of the major types of insect/pests models available.

Technical Abstract: In the past, the dominant approach in theoretical pest management ecology has emphasized the use of simple analytical or mathematical models and the analysis of systems in equilibrium. Recent advancements in computer technology have provided the opportunity for ecological insect modelers to move away from this dominant approach and create new methodologies for explaining population and community dynamics. The new approaches emphasize greater realism in the models and greater testing of the models in the field. Because ecological theory cannot be generally applicable without being realistic, true generality in a theoretical model is impossible without realism. Complex simulation models are often more accurate (realistic) and easier to relate to field situations than simpler analytical models. The creation of valid, complex numerical models for a few specific cases is a valuable step in the development of new theory. Greater access to supercomputers in the future will facilitate the use of complex numerical models that incorporate extensive ecological knowledge. In this chapter, the role of models in ecological- and insecticide-based pest control strategies are first discussed, followed by a description of the major types of insect/pests models available.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014