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Spatially optimal habitat management for enhancing natural control of an invasive agricultural pest: Soybean aphid


  • Zhang, Wei
  • van der Werf, Wopke
  • Swinton, Scott M.


By their direct effects on private profitability, invasive agricultural pests create special incentives for management that set them apart from other categories of invasive species. One attractive nonchemical management approach for agricultural pests relies upon biological control by natural enemies. By improving the habitat of natural enemies of invasive agricultural pests, biological pest control can become privately attractive. This study develops a spatial optimization model to explore economically optimal spatial configuration of natural enemy habitat in agricultural landscapes. The model is applied to the management of soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), a recent invasive pest species of soybean production systems in the North Central region of the United States. Results indicate that non-crop habitat management can be a promising pest management option for organic cropping systems. Under current prices, however, habitat management tends to reduce net returns for conventional farms. Both area and configuration of non-crop habitats affect economic performance, with the greatest value coming from small, scattered areas of habitat.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Wei & van der Werf, Wopke & Swinton, Scott M., 2010. "Spatially optimal habitat management for enhancing natural control of an invasive agricultural pest: Soybean aphid," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 551-565, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:32:y:2010:i:4:p:551-565

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nalle, Darek J. & Montgomery, Claire A. & Arthur, Jeffrey L. & Polasky, Stephen & Schumaker, Nathan H., 2004. "Modeling joint production of wildlife and timber," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 997-1017, November.
    2. Cheryl Brown & Lori Lynch & David Zilberman, 2002. "The Economics of Controlling Insect-Transmitted Plant Diseases," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(2), pages 279-291.
    3. Song, Feng & Swinton, Scott M., 2008. "Returns to Integrated Pest Management Research and Outreach for Soybean Aphid," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6117, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Delate, K. M. & Duffy, Michael & Chase, Craig A. & Holste, A. & Friedrich, H. & Wantate, N, 2003. "An Economic Comparison of Organic and Conventional Grain Crops in a Long-Term Agroecological Research (Ltar) Site in Iowa," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11818, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Parkhurst, Gregory M. & Shogren, Jason F., 2007. "Spatial incentives to coordinate contiguous habitat," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 344-355, December.
    6. Jeroen Aerts & Marjan Van Herwijnen & Ron Janssen & Theodor Stewart, 2005. "Evaluating Spatial Design Techniques for Solving Land-use Allocation Problems," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(1), pages 121-142.
    7. Sanchirico, James & Wilen, James, 2000. "Dynamics of Spatial Exploitation: A Metapopulation Approach," Discussion Papers dp-00-25-rev, Resources For the Future.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yun, Seong Do & Gramig, Benjamin M., 2013. "Spatially Explicit Dynamically Optimal Provision of Ecosystem Services: An Application to Biological Control of Soybean Aphid," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150744, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Yun, Seong Do & Gramig, Benjamin M., 2014. "Dynamic Optimization of Ecosystem Services: A Comparative Analysis of Non-Spatial and Spatially-Explicit Models," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170450, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Walker, Adam N. & Poos, Jan-Jaap & Groeneveld, Rolf A., 2015. "Invasive species control in a one-dimensional metapopulation network," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 316(C), pages 176-184.
    4. Simanti Banerjee & Frans P. de Vries & Nick Hanley & Daan P. van Soest, 2014. "The Impact of Information Provision on Agglomeration Bonus Performance: An Experimental Study on Local Networks," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1009-1029.
    5. Chalak, Morteza & Pannell, David J., 2012. "Optimising control of an agricultural weed in sheep-production pastures," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1-8.
    6. repec:eee:ecomod:v:235-236:y:2012:i::p:95-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Letourneau, Deborah K. & Ando, Amy W. & Jedlicka, Julie A. & Narwani, Anita & Barbier, Edward, 2015. "Simple-but-sound methods for estimating the value of changes in biodiversity for biological pest control in agriculture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 215-225.


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