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Annals of Operations Research

, Volume 271, Issue 2, pp 357–403 | Cite as

A review of operations research models in invasive species management: state of the art, challenges, and future directions

  • İ. Esra BüyüktahtakınEmail author
  • Robert G. Haight
Original - Survey or Exposition

Abstract

Invasive species are a major threat to the economy, the environment, health, and thus human well-being. The international community, including the United Nations’ Global Invasive Species Program (GISP), National Invasive Species Council (NISC), and Center for Invasive Species Management (CISM), has called for a rapid control of invaders in order to minimize their adverse impacts. The effective management of invasive species is a highly complex problem requiring the development of decision tools that help managers prioritize actions most efficiently by considering corresponding bio-economic costs, impacts on ecosystems, and benefits of control. Operations research methods, such as mathematical programming models, are powerful tools for evaluating different management strategies and providing optimal decisions for allocating limited resources to control invaders. In this paper, we summarize the mathematical models applied to optimize invasive species prevention, surveillance, and control. We first define key concepts in invasive species management (ISM) in a framework that characterizes biological invasions, associated economic and environmental costs, and their management. We then present a spatio-temporal optimization model that illustrates various biological and economic aspects of an ISM problem. Next, we classify the relevant literature with respect to modeling methods: optimal control, stochastic dynamic programming, linear programming, mixed-integer programming, simulation models, and others. We further classify the ISM models with respect to the solution method used, their focus and objectives, and the specific application considered. We discuss limitations of the existing research and provide several directions for further research in optimizing ISM planning. Our review highlights the fact that operations research could play a key role in ISM and environmental decision-making, in particular closing the gap between the decision-support needs of managers and the decision-making tools currently available to management.

Keywords

Invasive species management Biological invasions Ecology Operations research Mathematical models Optimization Solution methods Decision-support tools Review 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station Joint Venture Agreement No. 16-JV-11242309-109 and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award under Grant No. CBET-1554018. We thank Stephanie Snyder and Denys Yemshanov for their invaluable suggestions and insights, which have improved the presentation and clarity of this manuscript. The authors are also grateful for the comments of the editor and an anonymous referee, whose remarks helped to improve the exposition of this paper.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering CenterNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA
  2. 2.USDA Forest Service Northern Research StationSt. PaulUSA

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