Event Title

Effects of Vegetation and Competition on the Development of Vector Species Aedes Albopictus and Culex Pipiens

Presenter Information

Abigail McCrea, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center A154

Start Date

10-27-2017 3:00 PM

End Date

10-27-2017 4:20 PM

Research Program

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies REU Program

Abstract

Mosquito-borne diseases are increasingly affecting public health with urban areas especially seeing changes in distribution and incidence of vector-borne pathogens. Anthropogenic influences are changing resource availability in aquatic juvenile habitats, influencing larval development and the adult mosquitoes emerging from urban aquatic breeding habitats, which can change the abundance and distribution of important mosquito vectors in urban areas. Leaf detritus and associated chemical makeup of aquatic larval habitats inform levels of competition among mosquito larvae and affect adult traits that can influence disease transmission. Culex pipiens and Aedes albopictus are both important disease vectors in urban areas that are known to co-occur in breeding habitats where resource conditions are mainly fueled by plant-based detritus from surrounding vegetation. This study investigated how differences in vegetation chemistry among plants commonly found in urban yards (Agrostis spp., Quercus rubra) and vacant lots (Ailanthus altissima, Catalpa speciosa) influenced development, emergence and adult size of Cx. pipiens and Ae. albopictus. Ailanthus and Agrostis treatments had higher nitrogen content and both vector species developed more rapidly and achieved greater adult size when reared in these treatments. Although the numbers of Cx pipiens that pupated was not different across treatments, more Ae albopictus pupated in the lower nitrogen, Catalpa and Quercus treatment. There was no significant inter-specific competition detected, however Ae albopictus intra-specific competition was evident in the Quercus treatment only. Our findings demonstrate that the resource availability defined by the detritus inputs to container habitats can have an important influence on competition, development, adult size and vector fitness across urban environments.

Notes

Session I, Panel 1 - Disease | Environments
Moderator: Mary Garvin, Professor of Biology

Major

Biology; Religion

Project Mentor(s)

Shannon LaDeau, Disease Ecology, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

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Oct 27th, 3:00 PM Oct 27th, 4:20 PM

Effects of Vegetation and Competition on the Development of Vector Species Aedes Albopictus and Culex Pipiens

Science Center A154

Mosquito-borne diseases are increasingly affecting public health with urban areas especially seeing changes in distribution and incidence of vector-borne pathogens. Anthropogenic influences are changing resource availability in aquatic juvenile habitats, influencing larval development and the adult mosquitoes emerging from urban aquatic breeding habitats, which can change the abundance and distribution of important mosquito vectors in urban areas. Leaf detritus and associated chemical makeup of aquatic larval habitats inform levels of competition among mosquito larvae and affect adult traits that can influence disease transmission. Culex pipiens and Aedes albopictus are both important disease vectors in urban areas that are known to co-occur in breeding habitats where resource conditions are mainly fueled by plant-based detritus from surrounding vegetation. This study investigated how differences in vegetation chemistry among plants commonly found in urban yards (Agrostis spp., Quercus rubra) and vacant lots (Ailanthus altissima, Catalpa speciosa) influenced development, emergence and adult size of Cx. pipiens and Ae. albopictus. Ailanthus and Agrostis treatments had higher nitrogen content and both vector species developed more rapidly and achieved greater adult size when reared in these treatments. Although the numbers of Cx pipiens that pupated was not different across treatments, more Ae albopictus pupated in the lower nitrogen, Catalpa and Quercus treatment. There was no significant inter-specific competition detected, however Ae albopictus intra-specific competition was evident in the Quercus treatment only. Our findings demonstrate that the resource availability defined by the detritus inputs to container habitats can have an important influence on competition, development, adult size and vector fitness across urban environments.