New baseline environmental assessment of mosquito ecology in northern Haiti during increased urbanization

Dayana M. Samson, Reginald S. Archer, Temitope O. Alimi, Kristopher L. Arheart, Daniel E. Impoinvil, Roland Oscar, Douglas O. Fuller, Whitney A. Qualls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, led to the large-scale displacement of over 2.3 million people, resulting in rapid and unplanned urbanization in northern Haiti. This study evaluated the impact of this unplanned urbanization on mosquito ecology and vector-borne diseases by assessing land use and change patterns. Land-use classification and change detection were carried out on remotely sensed images of the area for 2010 and 2013. Change detection identified areas that went from agricultural, forest, or bare-land pre-earthquake to newly developed and urbanized areas post-earthquake. Areas to be sampled for mosquito larvae were subsequently identified. Mosquito collections comprised five genera and ten species, with the most abundant species being Culex quinquefasciatus 35% (304/876), Aedes albopictus 27% (238/876), and Aedes aegypti 20% (174/876). All three species were more prevalent in urbanized and newly urbanized areas. Anopheles albimanus, the predominate malaria vector, accounted for less than 1% (8/876) of the collection. A set of spectral indices derived from the recently launched Landsat 8 satellite was used as covariates in a species distribution model. The indices were used to produce probability surfaces maps depicting the likelihood of presence of the three most abundant species within 30 m pixels. Our findings suggest that the rapid urbanization following the 2010 earthquake has increased the amount of area with suitable habitats for urban mosquitoes, likely influencing mosquito ecology and posing a major risk of introducing and establishing emerging vector-borne diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-58
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Vector Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Aedes albopictus
  • Earthquake
  • Haiti
  • Mosquitoes
  • Rapid urbanization
  • Remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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