Diversity Cascades and malaria vectors

John C. Carlson, Lee A. Dyer, Francois X. Omlin, John C. Beier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The interactions between predator diversity and primary consumer abundance can include direct effects and indirect, cascading effects. Understanding these effects on immature Anopheles mosquitoes is important in sub-Saharan Africa, where most cases of malaria occur. Aquatic predators and immature mosquitoes were collected from shallow pools of varying age previously excavated by brickmakers in the western highlands of Kenya. Path analysis showed an indirect negative effect of habitat age on An. gambiae (Giles, 1902) mediated by effects on predator diversity. Disturbance resets habitats to an earlier successional stage, diminishing predator diversity and increasing An. gambiae populations. The increase in vector abundance as a result of reduced predator diversity highlights the public health value in conserving native insect diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-464
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Anopheles gambiae, malaria
  • Diversity
  • Kenya
  • Trophic cascades

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • veterinary(all)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology


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