A COMPUTER-SIMULATION MODEL OF WATER-HYACINTH AND WEEVIL INTERACTIONS

KS AKBAY
Fred G. Howell, University of Southern Mississippi
JW WOOTEN

Abstract

A personal computer simulation model termed "INSECT" has been developed to evaluate biological control of waterhyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms.) by two species of weevil (Neochetina eichhorniae Warner, and N. bruchi Hustache). The model results were compared with the data from three different locations. For each data set, the simulated plant biomass, adult and larva populations were plotted aqainst the 95% confidence intervals of the actual field observations. In many cases, the simulation results were within the 95% confidence intervals, and especially during the growing season, they indicated trends similar to those seen in the field data. However, there were discrepancies in both the magnitude and the trend for early and the late periods of the year. These initial results suggest that development of a model to simulate the impact of a biocontrol agent on waterhyacinth populations is a feasible approach to better understand the interactions within this control system.