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J Theor Biol. 2008 May 7;252(1):87-97. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.01.024. Epub 2008 Feb 5.

Ecological balance in the native population dynamics may cause the paradox of pest control with harvesting.

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  • 1Department of Mathematical and Life Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8526, Japan.


We analyze a time-discrete mathematical model of host-parasite population dynamics with harvesting, in which the host can be regarded as a pest. We harvest a portion of the host population at a moment in each parasitism season. The principal target of the harvesting is the host; however, the parasite population may also be affected and reduced by a portion. Our model involves the Beverton-Holt type density effect on the host population. We investigate the condition in which the harvesting of the host results in an eventual increase of its equilibrium population size, analytically proving that the paradoxical increase could occur even when the harvesting does not directly affect the parasite population at all. We show that the paradox of pest control could be caused essentially by the interspecific relationship and the intraspecific density effect.

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