January paper discussion (Iadine’s pick)

Blackwood, J.; Hastings, A. & Costello, C. (2010). Cost-effective management of invasive species using linear-quadratic controlEcological Economics 69: 519-527.

In this paper, Blackwood et al. (2010) uses a simple linear-quadratic modelling tool to find the  best strategy for managing invasive species across time and space  in consideration of the tradeoffs between cost of control and the impact of the invader (also a cost). Three aspects of this paper stand out :  1) the clever simplicity of the linear model developed 2) the incorporation of connectivity and 3) the application of inter-patch heterogeneity. The model presented in this paper would appeal to a wide-audience because of the clear and distinct explanation of the methods, the general applicability of the model to a wide range of invasion scenarios and the use of Spartina alterniflora (grass sp) as an informative example.

It would be useful and interesting to build on this model by incorporating a stochastic ecological function .  This would  increase the utility of this model for managing invasive species with complex population dynamics and increase the applicability of the results to “on the ground” management.

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