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Title: Generalized temperature-driven insect population dynamics model – a mechanistic approach
Authors: Delay, Dominique
Keywords: Generalized model;insect;mechanistic model;population dynamics;temperature dependent
Issue Date: 18-Jan-2023
Abstract: Demand for computer models that simulate insect population dynamics is growing due to many factors including increased pressure on natural resources and climate change. Generalized models are a practical way to simulate multiple insect species with a single computer model, reducing the time spent developing species-specific models for each insect of interest. In this thesis, a generalized insect population dynamics model is presented. The model uses a mechanistic approach, leveraging data on underlying population drivers such as temperature-dependent vital rates to simulate changes in a population. The general model structure and code were adapted from the species-specific Drosophila suzukii model by Langille et al. (2016). The species-specific model was modified to account for a variety of insect species, minimise the number of required parameters, and use parameters that are available through literature, ensuring the general model’s simplicity and ease of use. Through exploration and sensitivity tests, the model’s elements were found to largely behave as expected from the real-life systems. The model was also validated for its intended use as a non-predictive, exploratory model through the comparison of published field or simulation population studies. The model successfully approximated published population studies when simulating insect species with simple life cycles, however, simulations of insect species with more complex life cycles, or social structures, were not as successful. Overall, despite some limitations, the general model presented in this thesis can simulate many insect species population dynamics and is ideal for study ideation, prototyping, and rapid exploration.
Appears in Collections:Computational Sciences - Master's theses

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