Modelling populations of Lygus hesperus on cotton fields in the San Joaquin Valley of California: the importance of statistical and mathematical model choice

H.T. Banks, John E. Banks, Jay A. Rosenheim, Kristen Tillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the population dynamics of herbivorous insects is critical to developing and implementing effective pest control protocols. In the context of inverse problems, we explore the dynamic effects of pesticide treatments on  Lygus hesperus , a common pest of cotton in the western United States. Fitting models to field data, we explore the topic of model selection for an appropriate mathematical model and corresponding statistical models, and use techniques including ANOVA-based model comparison tests and residual plot analysis to make the best selections. In addition we explore the topic of data information content: in this example, we are testing the question of whether data, as it is currently collected, can support time-dependent parameter estimation. Furthermore, we investigate the statistical assumptions often haphazardly made in the process of parameter estimation and consider the implications of unfounded assumptions.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Biological Dynamics
StatePublished - 2017


  • Inverse problem
  • bootstrapping
  • generalized least squares
  • hemiptera
  • herbivory
  • information content
  • linear splines
  • model selection
  • ordinary least squares
  • pest suppression
  • pesticide
  • residual plots


  • Life Sciences
  • Agriculture
  • Entomology

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