A nonlinear model for stage-structured population dynamics with nonlocal density-dependent regulation: an application to the fall armyworm moth.
The assessment and the management of the risks linked to insect pests can be supported by the use of physiologically-based demographic models. These models are useful in population ecology to simulate the dynamics of stage-structured populations, by means of functions (e.g., development, mortality and fecundity rate functions) realistically representing the nonlinear individuals physiological responses to environmental forcing variables. Since density-dependent responses are important regulating factors in population dynamics, we propose a nonlinear physiologically-based Kolmogorov model describing the dynamics of a stage-structured population in which a time-dependent mortality rate is coupled with a nonlocal density-dependent term. We prove existence and uniqueness of the solution for this resulting highly nonlinear partial differential equation. Then, the equation is discretized by finite volumes in space and semi-implicit backward Euler scheme in time. The model is applied for simulating the population dynamics of the fall armyworm moth (Spodoptera frugiperda), a highly invasive pest threatening agriculture worldwide.