Simulating the spread of an invasive termite in an urban environment using a stochastic individual-based model

Francesco Tonini, Hartwig H. Hochmair, Rudolf H. Scheffrahn, Donald L. Deangelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Invasive termites are destructive insect pests that cause billions of dollars in property damage every year. Termite species can be transported overseas by maritime vessels. However, only if the climatic conditions are suitable will the introduced species flourish. Models predicting the areas of infestation following initial introduction of an invasive species could help regulatory agencies develop successful early detection, quarantine, or eradication efforts. At present, no model has been developed to estimate the geographic spread of a termite infestation from a set of surveyed locations. In the current study, we used actual field data as a starting point, and relevant information on termite species to develop a spatially-explicit stochastic individual-based simulation to predict areas potentially infested by an invasive termite, Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky), in Dania Beach, FL. The Monte Carlo technique is used to assess outcome uncertainty. A set of model realizations describing potential areas of infestation were considered in a sensitivity analysis, which showed that the model results had greatest sensitivity to number of alates released from nest, alate survival, maximum pheromone attraction distance between heterosexual pairs, and mean flight distance. Results showed that the areas predicted as infested in all simulation runs of a baseline model cover the spatial extent of all locations recently discovered. The model presented in this study could be applied to any invasive termite species after proper calibration of parameters. The simulation herein can be used by regulatory authorities to define most probable quarantine and survey zones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-423
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Entomology
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

Fingerprint

individual-based model
termite
Isoptera
quarantine
Nasutitermes
simulation
pheromone
introduced species
invasive species
pheromones
insect pests
beaches
sensitivity analysis
nest
vessel
calibration
beach
flight
uncertainty
nests

Keywords

  • Habitat suitability
  • Individual-based approach
  • Invasive species
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Spatial stochastic simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Simulating the spread of an invasive termite in an urban environment using a stochastic individual-based model. / Tonini, Francesco; Hochmair, Hartwig H.; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H.; Deangelis, Donald L.

In: Environmental Entomology, Vol. 42, No. 3, 01.06.2013, p. 412-423.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tonini, Francesco ; Hochmair, Hartwig H. ; Scheffrahn, Rudolf H. ; Deangelis, Donald L. / Simulating the spread of an invasive termite in an urban environment using a stochastic individual-based model. In: Environmental Entomology. 2013 ; Vol. 42, No. 3. pp. 412-423.
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