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A scientific approach to agent selection

van Klinken, R.D. and Raghu, S. (2006) A scientific approach to agent selection. Australian Journal of Entomology, 45 (4). pp. 253-258.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-6055.2006.00547.x

Publisher URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118506135/home
Organisation URL: http://www.agric.nsw.gov.au/Hort/ascu/myrmecia/myrmecia.htm

Abstract

The prioritisation of potential agents on the basis of likely efficacy is an important step in biological control because it can increase the probability of a successful biocontrol program, and reduce risks and costs. In this introductory paper we define success in biological control, review how agent selection has been approached historically, and outline the approach to agent selection that underpins the structure of this special issue on agent selection. Developing criteria by which to judge the success of a biocontrol agent (or program) provides the basis for agent selection decisions. Criteria will depend on the weed, on the ecological and management context in which that weed occurs, and on the negative impacts that biocontrol is seeking to redress. Predicting which potential agents are most likely to be successful poses enormous scientific challenges. 'Rules of thumb', 'scoring systems' and various conceptual and quantitative modelling approaches have been proposed to aid agent selection. However, most attempts have met with limited success due to the diversity and complexity of the systems in question. This special issue presents a series of papers that deconstruct the question of agent choice with the aim of progressively improving the success rate of biological control. Specifically they ask: (i) what potential agents are available and what should we know about them? (ii) what type, timing and degree of damage is required to achieve success? and (iii) which potential agent will reach the necessary density, at the right time, to exert the required damage in the target environment?

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© CSIRO. © Australian Entomological Society.
Keywords:Agent prioritisation; agent selection; success; weed biological control.
Subjects:Science > Zoology > Invertebrates > Insects
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Weed ecology
Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Biological control
Deposited On:16 Nov 2009 06:15
Last Modified:18 Apr 2011 02:48

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