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El Niño drought and tropical forest conversion synergistically determine mosquito development rate

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Title: El Niño drought and tropical forest conversion synergistically determine mosquito development rate
Authors: Gregory, N
Ewers, RM
Chung, AYC
Cator, LJ
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Extreme warming events can profoundly alter the transmission dynamics of mosquito–borne diseases by affecting the physiology of mosquito vectors. At local scales, temperatures are determined largely by vegetation structure and can be dramatically altered by drivers of land-use change (e.g. forest conversion). Disturbance activities can also hinder the buffering capacity of natural habitats, making them more susceptible to seasonal climate variation and extreme weather events (e.g. droughts). Using experiments spanning three years, we demonstrate that variation in microclimates due to forest conversion dramatically increases development rates in Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. However, this effect was mediated by an El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) drought event. In normal years, mean temperatures did not differ between land-use types, however mosquitoes reared in oil palm plantations typically emerged 2-3 days faster than in logged forests. During an ENSO drought, mean temperatures did differ between land-use types, but surprisingly this did not result in different mosquito development rates. Driving this idiosyncratic response may be the differences in daily temperature fluctuations between the land-use types that either push mosquito larvae towards optimal development, or over the thermal optimum, thereby reducing fitness. This work highlights the importance of considering the synergistic effects of land-use and seasonal climate variations for predicting a key disease transmission-relevant mosquito trait.
Issue Date: 6-Mar-2019
Date of Acceptance: 21-Jan-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/66694
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab0036
ISSN: 1748-9326
Publisher: Institute of Physics (IoP)
Journal / Book Title: Environmental Research Letters
Volume: 14
Issue: 3
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. This article has been published on a gold open access basis under a CC BY 3.0 licence (https://creativecommons.org/licences/by/3.0).
Sponsor/Funder: Natural Environment Research Council [2006-2012]
Rainforest Research Sdn Bhd
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: NE/L002515/1
LBEE_P34395
NE/P00363X/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Physical Sciences
Environmental Sciences
Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
El Nino
drought
Aedes albopictus
tropical forest
oil palm
mosquitoes
AEDES-ALBOPICTUS DIPTERA
SENSU-STRICTO DIPTERA
OIL PALM
HOST-SEEKING
TEMPERATURE-FLUCTUATIONS
MALARIA TRANSMISSION
AEGYPTI DIPTERA
ADULT SIZE
MICROCLIMATE
CULICIDAE
Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 035003
Online Publication Date: 2019-01-21
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences