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Open AccessArticle

Satellite Imaging and Long-Term Mosquito Surveillance Implicate the Influence of Rapid Urbanization on Culex Vector Populations

Department of Entomology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2019, 10(9), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10090269
Received: 19 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 20 August 2019 / Published: 24 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vector Biology and Ecology)
The ecology and environmental conditions of a habitat have profound influences on mosquito population abundance. As a result, mosquito species vary in their associations with particular habitat types, yet long-term studies showing how mosquito populations shift in a changing ecological landscape are lacking. To better understand how land use changes influence mosquito populations, we examined mosquito surveillance data over a thirty-four-year period for two contrasting sites in central Iowa. One site displayed increasing levels of urbanization over time and a dramatic decline in Culex pipiens group (an informal grouping of Culex restuans, Culex pipiens, and Culex salinarius, referred to as CPG), the primary vectors of West Nile virus in central Iowa. Similar effects were also shown for other mosquito vector populations, yet the abundance of Aedes vexans remained constant during the study period. This is in contrast to a second site, which reflected an established urban landscape. At this location, there were no significant changes in land use and CPG populations remained constant. Climate data (temperature, total precipitation) were compiled for each location to see if these changes could account for altered population dynamics, but neither significantly influence CPG abundance at the respective site locations. Taken together, our data suggest that increased landscape development can have negative impacts on Culex vector populations, and we argue that long-term surveillance paired with satellite imagery analysis are useful methods for measuring the impacts of rapid human development on mosquito vector communities. As a result, we believe that land use changes can have important implications for mosquito management practices, population modeling, and disease transmission dynamics. View Full-Text
Keywords: mosquito surveillance; mosquito ecology; urbanization; land use; Culex mosquito surveillance; mosquito ecology; urbanization; land use; Culex
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Field, E.N.; Tokarz, R.E.; Smith, R.C. Satellite Imaging and Long-Term Mosquito Surveillance Implicate the Influence of Rapid Urbanization on Culex Vector Populations. Insects 2019, 10, 269.

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