Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Optimal spatial-dynamic management of stochastic species invasions.

Abstract

Recent analyses demonstrate that the spatial-temporal behavior of invasive species requires optimal management decisions over space and time. From a spatial perspective, this bioeconomic optimization model broadens away from invasive species spread at a frontier or to neighbors by examining short and long-distance dispersal, directionality in spread, and network geometry. In terms of uncertainty and dynamics, this framework incorporates several sources of stochasticity, decisions with multi-year implications, and temporal ecological processes. This paper employs a unique Markov decision process planning algorithm and a Monte Carlo simulation of the stochastic system to explore the spatial-dynamic optimal policy for a river network facing a bioinvasion, with Tamarisk as an example. In addition to exploring the spatial, stochastic, and dynamic aspects of management of invasions, the results demonstrate how the interaction of spatial and multi-period processes contributes to finding the optimal policy. Those interactions prove critical in determining the right management tool, in the right location, at the right time, which informs the management implications drawn from simpler frameworks. In particular, as compared to other modeling framework's policy prescriptions, the framework here finds more use of the management tool restoration and more management in highly connected locations, which leads to a less invaded system over time.