The Effects of Partial Crop Harvest on Biological Pest Control
In this paper, the effects of periodic partial harvesting of a continuously grown crop on augmentative biological control are analyzed. Partial harvesting can remove a proportion of both pests and biological control agents, so its influence on the control efficiency cannot be a priori neglected. An impulsive model consisting of a general predator-prey model in ODE, augmented by a discrete component to depict releases of biological control agents and the periodic partial harvesting is used. The periods are taken as integer multiples of each other. A stability condition for pest eradication is expressed as the minimal value of the budget per unit time to spend on predators. We consider the partial harvesting period to be fixed by both the plant's physiology and market forces so that the only manipulated variable is the release period. It is shown that varying the release period with respect to the harvest period influences the minimal budget value when the former is carried out more often than the latter and has no effect when releases take place as often as or less frequently than the partial harvests.
Mathematics - Dynamical Systems