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A locust phase change model with multiple switching states and random perturbation

A locust phase change model with multiple switching states and random perturbation

Xiang, Changcheng, Tang, Sanyi, Cheke, Robert ORCID: 0000-0002-7437-1934 and Qin, Wenjie (2016) A locust phase change model with multiple switching states and random perturbation. International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos (ijbc), 26 (13):1630037. pp. 1-17. ISSN 0218-1274 (Print), 1793-6551 (Online) (doi:

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Insects such as locusts and some moths can transform from a solitarious phase when they remain in loose populations and a gregarious phase, when they may swarm. Therefore, the key to effective management of outbreaks of species such as the desert locust Schistocercagregaria is early detection of when they are in the threshold state between the two phases, followed by timely control of their hopper stages before they fledge because the control of flying adult swarms is costly and often ineffective. Definitions of gregarization thresholds should assist preventive control measures and avoid treatment of areas that might not lead to gregarization. In order to better understand the effects of the threshold density which represents the gregarization threshold on the outbreak of a locust population, we developed a model of a discrete switching system. The proposed model allows us to address: (1) How frequently switching occurs from solitarious to gregarious phases and vice versa; (2) When do stable switching transients occur, the existence of which indicate that solutions with larger amplitudes can switch to a stable attractor with a value less than the switching threshold density?; and (3) How does random perturbation influence the switching pattern? Our results show that both subsystems have refuge equilibrium points, outbreak equilibrium points and bistable equilibria. Further, the outbreak equilibrium points and bistable equilibria can coexist for a wide range of parameters and can switch from one to another. This type of switching is sensitive to the intrinsic growth rate and the initial values of the locust population, and may result in locust population outbreaks and phase switching once a small perturbation occurs. Moreover, the simulation results indicate that the switching transient patterns become identical after some generations, suggesting that the evolving process of the perturbation system is not related to the initial value after some fixed number of generations for the same stochastic processes. However, the switching frequency and outbreak patterns can be significantly affected by the intensity of noise and the intrinsic growth rate of the locust population.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Discrete switching system; Stable switching transient; Phase change; Random perturbation; Bistability
Subjects: S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2017 01:38

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