The sterile release method for population control with interspecific competition

  • Hugh J. Barclay


A differential equations model of competing species with the release of sterile individuals of one of the species is examined. The system is found to have two positive steady states for certain parameter values; one of these is stable and the other is unstable. The system is quite resilient around the stable steady state. The release of steriles causes the nontarget species to increase in numbers. There exists a value of the release rate above which the pest species collapses to extinction. The existence of the competitor species assists the sterile release program since the pest equilibrium at any release rate is lower with the competitor species present than without it; in addition the release rate required to cause collapse of the pest species is lower with the competitor species present than without it.

The effects of the parameters on the ease of eradication were examined. It was found that the ideal competitor species should have a high rate of increase, a large carrying capacity and exert strong competitive depression on the pests. The ideal pest would have a low rate of increase, a low carrying capacity and be a poor competitor.


Release Rate Sterile Male Pest Species Stable Steady State Differential Equation Model 
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Copyright information

© The Society of Population Ecology 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugh J. Barclay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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