There is a long history of interplay between the development of population models and biological control. The early successes of biological control in its 'classical' form, such as the control of cottony-cushion scale (Icerya purchasi Mask.) in California following the introduction of the predatory vedalia beetle (Rodolia cardinalis (Muls)) from Australia in the late 1880s, provided stimulation to the development of early population dynamics theory. Since the 1930s, models have been used in attempts to develop a comprehensive theoretical foundation for biological control. The extent of use of general population models in biological control practice has, however, been limited, and this form of pest control has often been criticised for being ad hoc. Modeling attempts over the last two decades, however, have made significant advances in our understanding of the biological process and are beginning to help refine its practice.
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