The bioeconomics of tritrophic systems: Applications to invasive species

Andrew Paul Gutierrez, Uri Regev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Adapted species in nature are assumed to have solved renewable resource management problems, and this is examined here using a physiologically based model of energy acquisition and allocation. Newly established invasive species are merely in an early phase of this process in their new environment. Analogies between the economies of humans and other species are used to develop an objective function for individual utility of energy allocation. The objective function includes the physiologically based population dynamics models of the consumer and resource species in a food chain as constraints. The model applies to all trophic levels in a food chain including human harvesting of renewable resources (see also Regev et al. (Regev, U., Gutierrez, A.P., Schreiber, S., Zilberman, D., 1998. Biological and Economic Foundation of Renewable Resource Exploitation. Ecological Economics. 26 (3), 227-242.)). Specifically, the analysis:Attempts to combine ecological and economic theory;Points out the importance of time frame in the two economies (evolutionary vs. market time);Examines the effects of expected uncertainty due to environmental hazards in defining energy acquisition and allocation strategies in two invasive aphid species at the extremes of so called r- and K-strategies and the well adapted Central American cotton-cotton bollweevil system;Evaluates the effects of changes in behavioral and physiological parameters and environmental degradation on the abundance of resource and consumer species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-396
Number of pages14
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number3 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2005


  • Economic-ecological theory
  • Energy flow
  • Invasive species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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