Original Paper

Biological Invasions

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 991-1003

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

The rise of the invasives and decline of the natives: insights revealed from adult populations of container-inhabiting Aedes mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in temperate North America

  • Ilia RochlinAffiliated withDivision of Vector Control, Suffolk County Department of Public Works
  • , Randy GauglerAffiliated withCenter for Vector Biology, Rutgers University
  • , Eric WilligesAffiliated withCenter for Vector Biology, Rutgers UniversityEssex County Division of Mosquito Control
  • , Ary FarajollahiAffiliated withCenter for Vector Biology, Rutgers UniversityMercer County Mosquito Control Email author 

Abstract

Container-inhabiting Aedes mosquitoes are successful invaders and important arthropod-borne disease vectors worldwide. In North America, a subtropical assemblage containing introduced Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti and the native Aedes triseriatus have served as a model for investigating ecological interactions during invasions and focused on the outcomes at the larval stages. We report a hypothesis driven study of a more temperate container Aedes assemblage at the adult population level monitored in the state of New Jersey during a 9-year period. The invasive A. albopictus and Aedes japonicus abundances increased by a factor of two, whereas A. triseriatus abundance decreased by a factor of three. Spatiotemporal analysis indicated these trends were coincident especially in the areas invaded by A. albopictus, leading to partial displacement of A. triseriatus. Although the invasive species reached peak abundance in highly urbanized areas, the native species’ rate of decline was similar across the urbanization gradient. Higher winter temperatures and precipitation favored increased A. albopictus abundance suppressing A. triseriatus adult populations in turn, whereas A. japonicus abundance was promoted by summer precipitation. The results validate the conceptual framework developed for subtropical container Aedes and suggest that the current climatic trends will favor further spread of A. albopictus, amplifying public health concerns.

Keywords

Competitive displacement Invasive species Interspecies competition Urbanization Public health