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Title: Finding needles (or ants) in haystacks: predicting locations of invasive organisms to inform eradication and containment
Contributor(s): Schmidt, Daniel (author); Spring, Daniel (author); MacNally, Ralph (author); Thomson, James R (author); Brook, Barry W (author); Cacho, Oscar Jose  (author)orcid ; McKenzie, Michael (author)
Publication Date: 2010
DOI: 10.1890/09-0838.1
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Abstract: To eradicate or effectively contain a biological invasion, all or most reproductive individuals of the invasion must be found and destroyed. To help find individual invading organisms, predictions of probable locations can be made with statistical models. We estimated spread dynamics based on time-series data and then used model-derived predictions of probable locations of individuals. We considered one of the largest datasets available for an eradication program - the campaign to eradicate the red imported fire ant ('Solenopsis invicta') from around Brisbane, Australia. After estimating within-site growth (local growth) and inter-site dispersal (saltatory spread) of fire ant nests, we modeled probabilities of fire ant presence for > 600 000 1-ha sites, including uncertainties about fire ant population and spatial dynamics. Such a high level of spatial detail is required to assist surveillance efforts, but is difficult to incorporate into common modeling methods because of high computational costs. More than twice as many fire ant nests would have been found in 2008 using predictions made with our method rather than those made with the method currently used in the study region. Our method is suited to considering invasions in which a large area is occupied by the invader at low density. Improved predictions of such invasions can dramatically reduce the area that needs to be searched to find the majority of individuals, assisting containment efforts and potentially making eradication a realistic goal for many invasions previously thought to be ineradicable.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Ecological Applications, 20(5), p. 1217-1227
Publisher: Ecological Society of America
Place of Publication: Washington, United States of America
ISSN: 1939-5582
Field of Research (FOR): 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
010404 Probability Theory
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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