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Modelling the interplay between pest movement and the physical design of trap crop systems

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Abstract 

1 The interplay between pest movement and trap crop physical design is modelled in a situation where the pest moves by a random walk with spatially variable mobility. Questions addressed are: (i) how does the proportion of trap crop area of the total field area influence the equilibrium distribution of pests among the crop and the trap crop and (ii) how do crop patch size and shape influence the speed of pest redistribution from the crop to the trap crop.

2 When pest mobility in the trap crop is clearly lower than that in the crop, the pest population in the crop decreases very sharply for small trap crop proportions. When mobility in the trap crop is slightly closer to that in the crop, the pest population in the crop decreases much more gradually with increasing trap crop proportion. Thus finding a trap crop that the pest distinctly prefers over the crop appears to be crucial for developing efficient trap crop systems.

3 The rate of decay in the pest population in the crop increases with increasing perimeter to area ratio of the crop patch. Hence, designing field layouts to increase the perimeter to area ratio of crop patches may be beneficial.
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Keywords: Analytical solution; crop patch shape; crop patch size; ecological diffusion; proportion of trap crop; residence index

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Applied Biology, PO Box 27, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: 2005-02-01

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