Linda A. Auker
Department of Biology, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA 18612
In this figure set, students examine the question as to whether an exotic parasitoid is an effective biocontrol for an herbivorous pest, the ubiquitous diamondback moth (DBM). Students will model Lotka-Volterra parasitoid-host interactions in R using authentic data collected from a host-parasitoid relationship in Kenya. In doing so they will answer several questions: does an exotic parasitoid biocontrol help reduce DBM populations in this case study? How can modeling be useful? How can Lotka-Volterra models be useful in conservation?
FOUR DIMENSIONAL ECOLOGY EDUCATION (4DEE) FRAMEWORK
- Core Ecological Concepts:
- Resources and regulators
- Ecology Practices:
- Quantitative reasoning and computational thinking
- Computer skills: R
- Modeling and simulation
- Human-Environment Interactions:
- How humans shape and manage resources/ecosystems/the environment
- Natural resource management (biological control agents, ecological risk assessments)
- Ecological stewardship
- Cross-cutting Themes:
- alien/invasive species
Interrupted case study, think-pair-share, and coding in R
Written answers, codes and graphs. Depending on the course goals, instructors may wish to encourage students to modify their parameters under additional conditions.
Suggested class time is over two 50-minute periods or one 75-minute period.
This figure set is recommended for ecology/biology majors at the junior, senior, or graduate level. This Figure Set could be used in conjunction with Jean et al. (2023), which introduces Type I and Type II functional responses (https://tiee.esa.org/vol/v19/issues/figure_sets/jean/abstract.html).
Description of Resource Files:
- LV_model.Rmd: R file for Lotka-Volterra Model
This activity is an extension to Jean et al. (2023), which in turn is an update to Hsu (2018). The latter was created as part of ESA's 2023 Transforming Ecology Education Faculty Mentoring Network, funded by the National Science Foundation (DBI 2120678), to revise previously submitted figure sets to the 4DEE framework. I am particularly grateful to Christopher Beck and the Ecological Society of America, as well as to my collaborators Rosny Jean, Suann Yang, and Jeremy Hsu, for their support and encouragement in writing this extension.
Linda A. Auker. October 2023. Applying a Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model in R to assess the effectiveness of a biocontrol for diamondback moths in Kenya. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 19: Practice #12. https://tiee.esa.org/vol/v19/issues/figure_sets/auker/abstract.html