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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(12), 2663-2681; doi:10.3390/rs3122663
Article

Remote Sensing and Modeling of Mosquito Abundance and Habitats in Coastal Virginia, USA

1
,
1,*  and 2
1 Department of Geography, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA 2 REMSA Incorporated, 124 West Queens Way, Hampton, VA 23669, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 October 2011 / Revised: 9 December 2011 / Accepted: 9 December 2011 / Published: 12 December 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing in Coastal Ecosystem)
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Abstract

The increase in mosquito populations following extreme weather events poses a major threat to humans because of mosquitoes’ ability to carry disease-causing pathogens, particularly in low-lying, poorly drained coastal plains vulnerable to tropical cyclones. In areas with reservoirs of disease, mosquito abundance information can help to identify the areas at higher risk of disease transmission. Using a Geographic Information System (GIS), mosquito abundance is predicted across the City of Chesapeake, Virginia. The mosquito abundance model uses mosquito light trap counts, a habitat suitability model, and dynamic environmental variables (temperature and precipitation) to predict the abundance of the species Culiseta melanura, as well as the combined abundance of the ephemeral species, Aedes vexans and Psorophora columbiae, for the year 2003. Remote sensing techniques were used to quantify environmental variables for a potential habitat suitability index for the mosquito species. The goal of this study was to produce an abundance model that could guide risk assessment, surveillance, and potential disease transmission. Results highlight the utility of integrating field surveillance, remote sensing for synoptic landscape habitat distributions, and dynamic environmental data for predicting mosquito vector abundance across low-lying coastal plains. Limitations of mosquito trapping and multi-source geospatial environmental data are highlighted for future spatial modeling of disease transmission risk.
Keywords: mosquito-borne disease; habitat suitability; West Nile Virus; geographic information system; tasseled cap transform; Landsat mosquito-borne disease; habitat suitability; West Nile Virus; geographic information system; tasseled cap transform; Landsat
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Cleckner, H.L.; Allen, T.R.; Bellows, A.S. Remote Sensing and Modeling of Mosquito Abundance and Habitats in Coastal Virginia, USA. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 2663-2681.

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