Publications & Reports

Mathematical modelling of the mosquito Aedes polynesiensis in a heterogeneous environment.

Heath K, Bonsall MB, Marie J, Bossin HC
Burnet Institute, 85 Commercial Road, Melbourne, 3004 Victoria, Australia; Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, 11a Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3SZ, United Kingdom. Electronic address: [email protected]


BACKGROUND: The mosquito Aedes polynesiensis inhabits Pacific islands and territories and transmits arboviruses and parasites. In the context of rapid environmental change, understanding the effects of environmental heterogeneity on mosquitoes is crucial. METHODS: First, empirical field data and remote sensing data were combined to model spatial heterogeneity in the environmental suitability for Ae. polynesiensis. Second, a model of mosquito population dynamics was applied to predict mosquito distributions over a heterogeneous landscape assuming different dispersal behaviours. Motu Tautau, French Polynesia, was used as a case study of the utility of this methodological approach. Ae. polynesiensis use land crab Cardisoma carnifex burrows for oviposition in French Polynesia; environmental suitability was therefore quantified using C. carnifex burrow density. RESULTS: Micro-regions with large Ae. polynesiensis populations facilitated by high C. carnifex burrow density were accurately captured by our methodology. Preferential dispersal towards oviposition sites promoted larger population sizes than non-preferential dispersal but did not offer greater resilience to environmental change. Reduced environmental suitability for Ae. polynesiensis resulted in spatially non-linear effects upon the mosquito distribution. CONCLUSIONS: Environmental change has complex spatial effects upon mosquito populations. Mosquito control strategies must carefully balance spatial effects with net effects.

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  • Journal: Mathematical Biosciences
  • Published: 01/04/2022
  • Volume: 348
  • Pagination: 108811