Urbanization creates diverse aquatic habitats for immature mosquitoes in urban areas

André B.B. Wilke, Catherine Chase, Chalmers Vasquez, Augusto Carvajal, Johana Medina, William D. Petrie, John C. Beier

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Abstract

Global increases in temperatures and urbanization are impacting the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases. Urbanization processes create suitable habitats for vector mosquitoes in which there are a reduced number of predators, and human hosts are widely available. We hypothesize that mosquito vector species, especially Aedes aegypti, are locally concentrated primarily in those specific habitats at the neighborhood levels that provide suitable conditions and environmental resources needed for mosquito survival. Determining how mosquito vector species composition and abundance depend on environmental resources across habitats addresses where different types of vector control need to be applied. Therefore, our goal was to analyze and identify the most productive aquatic habitats for mosquitoes in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Immature mosquito surveys were conducted throughout Miami-Dade County from April 2018 to June 2019, totaling 2,488 inspections. Mosquitoes were collected in 76 different types of aquatic habitats scattered throughout 141 neighborhoods located in the urbanized areas of Miami-Dade County. A total of 44,599 immature mosquitoes were collected and Ae. aegypti was the most common and abundant species, comprising 43% of all specimens collected. Aedes aegypti was primarily found in buckets, bromeliads, and flower pots, concentrated in specific neighborhoods. Our results showed that aquatic habitats created by anthropogenic land-use modifications (e.g., ornamental bromeliads, buckets, etc.) were positively correlated with the abundance of Ae. aegypti. This study serves to identify how vector mosquitoes utilize the resources available in urban environments and to determine the exact role of these specific urban features in supporting populations of vector mosquito species. Ultimately, the identification of modifiable urban features will allow the development of targeted mosquito control strategies optimized to preventatively control vector mosquitoes in urban areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15335
JournalScientific reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

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Cite this

Wilke, A. B. B., Chase, C., Vasquez, C., Carvajal, A., Medina, J., Petrie, W. D., & Beier, J. C. (2019). Urbanization creates diverse aquatic habitats for immature mosquitoes in urban areas. Scientific reports, 9(1), [15335]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-51787-5