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Improving preventive locust management: Insights from a multi-agent model

Gay P.E., Lecoq M., Piou C.. 2018. Pest Management Science, 74 (1) : p. 46-58.

DOI: 10.18167/DVN1/ARUTUO

DOI: 10.1002/ps.4648

BACKGROUND: Preventive management of locust plagues works in some cases but still fails frequently. The role of funding institution awareness was suggested as a potential facilitating factor for cyclic locust plagues. We designed a multi-agent system to represent the events of locust plague development and a management system with three levels: funding institution, national control unit and field teams. A sensitivity analysis identified the limits and improvements of the management system. RESULTS: The model generated cyclic locust plagues through a decrease in funding institution awareness. The funding institution could improve its impact by increasing its support by just a few percent. The control unit should avoid hiring too many field teams when plagues bring in money, in order to ensure that surveys can be maintained in times of recession. The more information the teams can acquire about the natural system, the more efficient they will be. CONCLUSION: We argue that anti-locust management should be considered as a complex adaptive system. This not only would allow managers to prove to funders the random aspect of their needs, but would also enable funders and decision-makers to understand and integrate their own decisions into the locust dynamics that still regularly affect human populations.

Mots-clés : acrididae; gestion des organismes nuisibles; surveillance des déprédateurs; modèle mathématique; ravageur des plantes; gestion du risque; schistocerca gregaria; nomadacris; chortoicetes terminifera; afrique; modélisation d'accompagnement; nomadacris septemfasciata

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