Barnacles vs bullies: modelling biocontrol of the invasive European green crab using a castrating barnacle parasite

Barnacles vs bullies: modelling biocontrol of the invasive European green crab using a castrating... Invasive species raise concern around the globe, and much empirical and theoretical research effort has been devoted to their management. Integrodifference equations are theoretical tools that have been used to understand the spatiotemporal process of a species invasion, with the potential to yield insight into the possible biological control measures. We develop a system of integrodifference equations to explore the potential release of a castrating barnacle parasite Sacculina carcini to control spread and abundance of an invasive species, Carcinus maenas, the European green crab. We find that the parasite does not completely eradicate the green crab population, but has the potential to reduce its density. Our model suggests that the crab population is likely to outrun the spread of the parasite, causing two waves of invasion travelling at different speeds. By performing a sensitivity analysis, we investigate the effects of the demographic parameters on the speed of invasion. To conclude, we discuss the predicted outcomes for the European green crab, and other non-target hosts, of using the castrating barnacle as a biocontrol agent. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Theoretical Ecology Springer Journals

Barnacles vs bullies: modelling biocontrol of the invasive European green crab using a castrating barnacle parasite

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Life Sciences; Theoretical Ecology/Statistics; Plant Sciences; Zoology
ISSN
1874-1738
eISSN
1874-1746
D.O.I.
10.1007/s12080-017-0332-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Invasive species raise concern around the globe, and much empirical and theoretical research effort has been devoted to their management. Integrodifference equations are theoretical tools that have been used to understand the spatiotemporal process of a species invasion, with the potential to yield insight into the possible biological control measures. We develop a system of integrodifference equations to explore the potential release of a castrating barnacle parasite Sacculina carcini to control spread and abundance of an invasive species, Carcinus maenas, the European green crab. We find that the parasite does not completely eradicate the green crab population, but has the potential to reduce its density. Our model suggests that the crab population is likely to outrun the spread of the parasite, causing two waves of invasion travelling at different speeds. By performing a sensitivity analysis, we investigate the effects of the demographic parameters on the speed of invasion. To conclude, we discuss the predicted outcomes for the European green crab, and other non-target hosts, of using the castrating barnacle as a biocontrol agent.

Journal

Theoretical EcologySpringer Journals

Published: Feb 22, 2017

References

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