Selecting biological control agents
Predicting direct non-target impacts
Modelling non-target impacts
What can be predicted?
These modelling approaches predict three aspects of the potential nontarget impacts of an introduced BCA: (1) the likely affect on nontarget population size or density from a given attack rate by an introduced BCA; (2) the likely seasonal timing of new BCA attack and how this may affect its impacts on nontarget species; and (3) the geographic locations where impacts are likely to be the greatest (see table). These approaches can also be applied to predicting the impacts of accidental introductions.
|Magnitude of local impacts||()||()|
|Seasonal timing of impacts|
|Geographical location of greatest impacts||()||()|
The availability of suitable data is probably the biggest constraint to using models for predicting the nontarget impacts of biological control introductions. The following table summarises some potential sources of data for parameterising the models discussed above.
|Sources of data||Attack rate|
|Pre-release host range testing|
|Other quarantine studies||()|
|Ecological studies from the native/exotic range|
|Extrapolation from closely related taxa||()|
Detailed population models
How can models improve biosafety?