Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Feedback control could be key to robust conservation management

Date:
July 10, 2014
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
Mathematical algorithms used to control everyday household items such as washing machines could hold the key to winning the fight for conservation, a new study has claimed. A team of scientists and mathematicians has shown how techniques commonly used in control engineering, could be replicated in the natural world to help restock declining populations.

Mathematical algorithms used to control everyday household items such as washing machines could hold the key to winning the fight for conservation, a new study has claimed.

As part of an EPSRC research project, a team of UK scientists and mathematicians, including those from the University of Exeter, have shown how techniques commonly used in control engineering, could be replicated in the natural world to help restock declining populations.

The innovative new study suggests 'integral control' -- in essence a built-in feedback control mechanism to maintain a constant -- could be considered as a way of regulating populations by restocking populations as necessary.

The researchers believe that this novel approach could help conservationists in their quest to protect vulnerable species from forces such as habitat destruction or climate change.

Dr Chris Guiver, lead author of the paper and from the University of Exeter's Mathematics department, said: "Conservation is crucial to maintaining biodiversity and the survival of species in environments facing a range of pressures, such as habitat destruction, climate change, invasion and changing land use."

Integral control uses mathematical theory to design robust systems that react to changing situations and make the relevant corrections to maintain the status quo. Its use can be found in everyday items such as cruise control for regulating a car's speed, as well as navigating super tankers across stormy seas or within the flight controls of a high-performance aircraft.

The new study investigates whether the theory behind this integral control can be transferred to aid conservation projects, and in particular managing declining populations. The collaborative study shows that using measurements of a population, such as a herd of elephants, to help inform conservation management strategies could prove an important factor in future ecological techniques.

Professor Stuart Townley, who lectures in Applied Mathematics at the University of Exeter's Environment and Sustainability Institute at the Penryn Campus, Cornwall, and principal investigator on the EPSRC project, added: "Integral control has not been considered as a technique for managing natural populations but our study shows that it may be highly relevant and could help boost world wide conservation efforts."

The study, called "Integral Control for Population Management" is published in the Journal for Mathematical Biology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Exeter. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Chris Guiver, Hartmut Logemann, Richard Rebarber, Adam Bill, Brigitte Tenhumberg, Dave Hodgson, Stuart Townley. Integral control for population management. Journal of Mathematical Biology, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s00285-014-0789-4

Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Feedback control could be key to robust conservation management." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710131045.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2014, July 10). Feedback control could be key to robust conservation management. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710131045.htm
University of Exeter. "Feedback control could be key to robust conservation management." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710131045.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins