Mathematical modelling of host-parasitoid systems: effects of chemically mediated parasitoid foraging strategies on within- and between-generation spatio-temporal dynamics

Peter Schofield, Mark Chaplain, Stephen Hubbard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    15 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In this paper we develop a novel discrete, individual-based mathematical model to investigate the effect of parasitoid foraging strategies on the spatial and temporal dynamics of host–parasitoid systems. The model is used to compare naïve or random search strategies with search strategies that depend on experience and sensitivity to semiochemicals in the environment. It focuses on simple mechanistic interactions between individual hosts, parasitoids, and an underlying field of a volatile semiochemical (emitted by the hosts during feeding) which acts as a chemoattractant for the parasitoids. The model addresses movement at different spatial scales, where scale of movement also depends on the internal state of an individual. Individual interactions between hosts and parasitoids are modelled at a discrete (micro-scale) level using probabilistic rules. The resulting within-generation dynamics produced by these interactions are then used to generate the population levels for successive generations. The model simulations examine the effect of various key parameters of the model on (i) the spatio-temporal patterns of hosts and parasitoids within generations; (ii) the population levels of the hosts and parasitoids between generations. Key results of the model simulations show that the following model parameters have an important effect on either the development of patchiness within generations or the stability/instability of the population levels between generations: (i) the rate of diffusion of the kairomones; (ii) the specific search strategy adopted by the parasitoids; (iii) the rate of host increase between successive generations. Finally, evolutionary aspects concerning competition between several parasitoid subpopulations adopting different search strategies are also examined.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-47
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
    Volume214
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2002

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