Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Decision support tools

Decision support tools

Two decision support tools are under development:

  1. In the Undesert project a decision support tool that can make the scientific results from the project operative for decision makers in West Africa. The system will contain modules for land cover change, potential distribution of plant species, spatial indicators of degradation, climate change, socio-economic value of plant species, soil restoration, plant species as indicators of degradation, restoration and tree planting, carbon sequestration, sustainable utilization and grazing pressure. The two latter modules will be based on the food web modelling.
  2. In the Ant Biocontrol in Africa (DANIDA) project we are developing a decision support system that can help growers and extension workers finding out how to optimize the biocontrol of pests in mango and cashew by aid of weaver ants. The basis of the decision support system is a population dynamic simulation model that can simulate the growth of a weaver ant colony dependent on the available prey, man provided  food and man provided sugar, and the impact of the weaver ant colony on the pest populations, and in turn on the fruit production.  Furthermore, the system is being equipped with an economics module where the value of the production in different value chains can be analyzed, making it possible to evaluate the economic impact of improved pest control.


A supply-demand regulated population dynamical model of the growth and development of winter oilseed rape is used to simulate the effect of the damage caused by 2 pest species, the pod midge (Dasineura brassicae) and the pollen beetle (Meligethes aeneus). The model distributes the daily supply of photosyntheates through a metabolic pool where pods have highest priority followed by buds, stems, leaves and roots.

The model captures the well-known mechanisms of compensation and explains overcompensation for pollen beetle attacks. Further, a large source of variation in the ability to compensate for pollen beetle attacks was found to be the rate of budgeting per plant per degree-day.

The model suggests that oilseed rape is able to compensate to some extend for damage caused by the pod midge by increasing the size of the pods.