Spatial and temporal dynamics of animals and the host-density threshold in epizootiology

David W. Onstad, Joseph V. Maddox, Donna J. Cox, Edward A. Kornkven

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The concept of a host-density threshold, commonly discussed in theoretical epidemiology and epizootiology, is based on simple theoretical models and several vague definitions. We computed a more complex model on a supercomputer to study the temporal and spatial dynamics of an insect population and its microsporidian disease. Results demonstrated that the threshold is sensitive to initial prevalence of the disease, intragenerational temporal dynamics, and spatial dynamics of the host. The threshold also depends on whether pathogen persistence, an increase in prevalence, an increase in density of infected hosts, or an epidemic is being predicted. To improve epizootiological theory, models with greater realism must be studied and the concept must include general temporal and spatial scales.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)76-84
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Invertebrate Pathology
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 1990

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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