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Optimal Control of Spreading Biological Invasions: For How Long Should We Apply the Brake?

  • Carrasco, Luis Roman
  • MacLeod, Alan
  • Knight, John D.
  • Baker, Richard
  • Mumford, John D.
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    Identifying the optimal switching point between different invasive alien species (IAS) management policies is a very complex task and policy makers are in need of modelling tools to assist them. In this paper we develop an optimal control bioeconomic model to estimate the type of optimal policy and switching point of control efforts against a spreading IAS. We apply the models to the case study of Colorado potato beetle in the UK. The results demonstrate that eradication is optimal for small initial sizes of invasion at discovery. High capacity of the agency to reduce spread velocity for several years leads to smaller total overall costs of invasion and makes eradication optimal for larger sizes of initial invasion. In many cases, it is optimal to switch from control to acceptance within the time horizon. The switching point depends on the capacity of the agency, initial size of invasion, spread velocity of the IAS and the ratio of unit cost of damage and removal. We encourage the integration of the dispersal patterns of the invader and the geometry of the invasion in the theoretical development of the economics of IAS invasion management.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/50940
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    Paper provided by Agricultural Economics Society in its series 83rd Annual Conference, March 30-April 1, 2009, Dublin, Ireland with number 50940.

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    Date of creation: 01 Apr 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc09:50940
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.aes.ac.uk/
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    1. Burnett, Kimberly M. & D'Evelyn, Sean & Kaiser, Brooks A. & Nantamanasikarn, Porntawee & Roumasset, James A., 2008. "Beyond the lamppost: Optimal prevention and control of the Brown Tree Snake in Hawaii," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 66-74, August.
    2. Cacho, Oscar J. & Wise, Russell M. & Hester, Susan M. & Sinden, J.A., 2008. "Bioeconomic modeling for control of weeds in natural environments," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 559-568, April.
    3. Olson, Lars J. & Roy, Santanu, 2005. "On Prevention and Control of an Uncertain Biological Invasion," Working Papers 28595, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    4. Brown, Gardner & Roughgarden, Jonathan, 1997. "A metapopulation model with private property and a common pool," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 65-71, July.
    5. Odom, Doreen I. S. & Cacho, Oscar J. & Sinden, J. A. & Griffith, Garry R., 2003. "Policies for the management of weeds in natural ecosystems: the case of scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius, L.) in an Australian national park," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 119-135, February.
    6. Lars J. Olson & Santanu Roy, 2002. "The Economics of Controlling a Stochastic Biological Invasion," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1311-1316.
    7. Kim, C.S. & Lubowski, Ruben N. & Lewandrowski, Jan & Eiswerth, Mark E., 2006. "Prevention or Control: Optimal Government Policies for Invasive Species Management," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 35(1), April.
    8. Heikkila, Jaakko & Peltola, Jukka, 2004. "Analysis of the Colorado potato beetle protection system in Finland," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(2-3), pages 343-352, December.
    9. Burnett, Kimberly & Kaiser, Brooks & Roumasset, James, 2007. "Economic lessons from control efforts for an invasive species: Miconia calvescens in Hawaii," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2-3), pages 151-167, August.
    10. Mark E. Eiswerth & G. Cornelis van Kooten, 2002. "Uncertainty, Economics, and the Spread of an Invasive Plant Species," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1317-1322.
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