Resource limitation, controphic ostracod density and larval mosquito development
Rowbottom, R and Carver, S and Barmuta, LA and Weinstein, P and Foo, D and Allen, GR, Resource limitation, controphic ostracod density and larval mosquito development, PLoS One, 10, (11) Article e0142472. ISSN 1932-6203 (2015) [Refereed Article]
Aquatic environments can be restricted with the amount of available food resources especially with changes to both abiotic and biotic conditions. Mosquito larvae, in particular, are sensitive to changes in food resources. Resource limitation through inter-, and intra-specific competition among mosquitoes are known to affect both their development and survival. However, much less is understood about the effects of non-culicid controphic competitors (species that share the same trophic level). To address this knowledge gap, we investigated and compared mosquito larval development, survival and adult size in two experiments, one with different densities of non-culicid controphic conditions and the other with altered resource conditions. We used Aedes camptorhynchus, a salt marsh breeding mosquito and a prominent vector for Ross River virus in Australia. Aedes camptorhynchus usually has few competitors due to its halo-tolerance and distribution in salt marshes. However, sympatric ostracod micro-crustaceans often co-occur within these salt marshes and can be found in dense populations, with field evidence suggesting exploitative competition for resources. Our experiments demonstrate resource limiting conditions caused significant increases in mosquito developmental times, decreased adult survival and decreased adult size. Overall, non-culicid exploitation experiments showed little effect on larval development and survival, but similar effects on adult size. We suggest that the alterations of adult traits owing to non-culicid controphic competition has potential to extend to vector-borne disease transmission.
mosquitoes, Ross River virus, competition, ostracod, salt marsh