Endogenous and exogenous factors controlling temporal abundance patterns of tropical mosquitoes
Yang, GJ and Brook, BW and Whelan, PI and Cleland, S and Bradshaw, CJA, Endogenous and exogenous factors controlling temporal abundance patterns of tropical mosquitoes, Ecological Applications, 18, (8) pp. 2028-2040. ISSN 1051-0761 (2008) [Refereed Article]
The growing demand for efficient and effective mosquito control requires a better understanding of vector population dynamics and how these are modified by endogenous and exogenous factors. A long-term (11-year) monitoring data set describing the relative abundance of the saltmarsh mosquito (Aedes vigilax) in the greater Darwin region, northern Australia, was examined in a suite of Gompertz-logistic (GL) models with and without hypothesized environmental correlates (high tide frequency, rainfall, and relative humidity). High tide frequency and humidity were hypothesized to influence saltmarsh mosquito abundance positively, and rainfall was hypothesized to correlate negatively by reducing the availability of suitable habitats (moist substrata) required by ovipositing adult female mosquitoes. We also examined whether environmental correlates explained the variance in seasonal carrying capacity (K) because environmental stochasticity is hypothesized to modify population growth rate (r), carrying capacity, or both. Current and lagged-time effects were tested by comparing alternative population dynamics models using three different information criteria (Akaike's Information Criterion [corrected; AICc], Bayesian Information Criterion [BIC], and cross-validation [C-V]). The GL model with a two-month lag without environmental effects explained 31% of the deviance in population growth rate. This increased to >70% under various model combinations of high tide frequency, rainfall, and relative humidity, of which, high tide frequency and rainfall had the highest contributions. Temporal variation in K was explained weakly by high tide frequency, and there was some evidence that the filling of depressions to reduce standing water availability has reduced Aedes vigilax carrying capacity over the study period. This study underscores the need to consider simultaneously both types of drivers (endogenous and exogenous) when predicting mosquito abundance and population growth patterns. This work also indicates that climate change, via continued increases in rainfall and higher expected frequencies and intensities of high tide events with sea level rise, will alter mosquito abundance trends in northern Australia.