Optimal spatiotemporal effort allocation for invasive species removal incorporating a removal handling time and budget.
Improving strategies for the control and eradication of invasive species is an important aspect of nature conservation, an aspect where mathematical modeling and optimization play an important role. In this paper, we introduce a reaction-diffusion partial differential equation to model the spatiotemporal dynamics of an invasive species, and we use optimal control theory to solve for optimal management, while implementing a budget constraint. We perform an analytical study of the model properties, including the well-posedness of the problem. We apply this to two hypothetical but realistic problems involving plant and animal invasive species. This allows us to determine the optimal space and time allocation of the efforts, as well as the final length of the removal program so as to reach the local extinction of the species.