Optimal eradication: When to stop looking for an invasive plant

Regan, T. J., McCarthy, M. A., Baxter, P. W. J., Dane Panetta, F., & Possingham, H. P. (2006) Optimal eradication: When to stop looking for an invasive plant. Ecology Letters, 9(7), pp. 759-766.

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The notion of being sure that you have completely eradicated an invasive species is fanciful because of imperfect detection and persistent seed banks. Eradication is commonly declared either on an ad hoc basis, on notions of seed bank longevity, or on setting arbitrary thresholds of 1% or 5% confidence that the species is not present. Rather than declaring eradication at some arbitrary level of confidence, we take an economic approach in which we stop looking when the expected costs outweigh the expected benefits. We develop theory that determines the number of years of absent surveys required to minimize the net expected cost. Given detection of a species is imperfect, the optimal stopping time is a trade-off between the cost of continued surveying and the cost of escape and damage if eradication is declared too soon. A simple rule of thumb compares well to the exact optimal solution using stochastic dynamic programming. Application of the approach to the eradication programme of Helenium amarum reveals that the actual stopping time was a precautionary one given the ranges for each parameter. © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

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ID Code: 82399
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Decision theory, Detectability, Economic costs, Eradication, Invasive plants, Rule of thumb, Stochastic dynamic programming, Weed, cost-benefit analysis, environmental economics, invasive species, weed control, article, bioassay, cost benefit analysis, economics, environmental monitoring, environmental protection, growth, development and aging, information processing, methodology, pest control, plant, plant seed, population dynamics, reference value, statistical model, Conservation of Natural Resources, Data Collection, Endpoint Determination, Models, Statistical, Plants, Reference Values, Seeds, Helenium amarum
DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2006.00920.x
ISSN: 1461023X (ISSN)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Blackwell Publishing
Deposited On: 10 Mar 2015 07:27
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2015 04:04

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