Monday, 3 February 2020

New Publication on Red Palm Weevil!

Sanz-Aguilar, A., Cortés, I., Gascón, I., Martínez, O., Ginard, S., Tavecchia, G., 2020.Modelling pest dynamics under uncertainty in pest detection: the case of the red palm weevil. Biological Invasions. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-020-02208-6

Photo from wikimedia commons
Abstract. A common complication in invasive pest management is that the infectious state of the host can be wrongly assessed, leading to biases in the estimation of the prevalence of the pest and on the efficacy of mitigation actions. We designed a multievent model that accommodates uncertainty on host state to investigate the dynamics of the infestation of Phoenix canariensis by the invasive Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.  Since 2011, the council of Palma city (Mallorca Island, Spain) applied preventive, curative and destructive treatments to public Phoenix palms. A year later awareness campaigns focused on every palm owner in an attempt to control the plague. We estimated the probability of infestation and assessed the efficiency of mitigation measures, awareness campaigns and palm-dependent covariates. Our results show that infestation probabilities were higher for palms infested in the previous year than for healthy palms and it decreased substantially over time as a results of mitigation measures and awareness campaigns. Palms surrounded by treated palms had a lower probability of being infested than palms surrounded by untreated palms, i.e. private palms before awareness campaigns implementation. Our results highlight the key role of awareness campaigns and public participation for invasive species control.

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