Macroclimate Determines the Global Range Limit of Aedes aegypti
Aedes aegypti is the main vector of dengue and a number of other diseases worldwide. Because of the domestic nature of this mosquito, the relative importance of macroclimate in shaping its distribution has been a controversial issue. We have captured here the worldwide macroclimatic conditions occupied by A. aegypti in the last century. We assessed the ability of this information to predict the species’ observed distribution using supra-continental spatially-uncorrelated data. We further projected the distribution of the colonized climates in the near future (2010–2039) under two climate-change scenarios. Our results indicate that the macroclimate is largely responsible for setting the maximum range limit of A. aegypti worldwide and that in the near future, relatively wide areas beyond this limit will receive macroclimates previously occupied by the species. By comparing our projections, with those from a previous model based strictly on species-climate relationships (i.e., excluding human influence), we also found support for the hypothesis that much of the species’ range in temperate and subtropical regions is being sustained by artificial environments. Altogether, these findings suggest that, if the domestic environments commonly exploited by this species are available in the newly suitable areas, its distribution may expand considerably in the near future.
KeywordsAedes aegypti Climate change Dengue Global distribution Urban disease-vectors
- Christophers S (1960) Aëdes aegypti (L) the Yellow Fever Mosquito: its Life History, Bionomics and Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
- Lounibos LP (2010) Human disease vectors. In Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions, Simberloff D and Rejmanek M (editors). Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press, pp 150-154Google Scholar
- Omeara GF, Evans LF, Gettman AD, Cuda JP (1995) Spread of Aedes albopictus and decline of Ae. aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) in Florida. Journal of Medical Entomology 32:554-562Google Scholar
- Ramirez-Villegas J, Jarvis A (2010) Downscaling global circulation model outputs: the delta method decision and policy analysis Working Paper No. 1. International Center for Tropical Agriculture. http://www.ccafs-climate.org/downloads/docs/Downscaling-WP-01.pdf. Accessed 13 May 2013.
- Vasconcelos PF, Travassos da Rosa A, Pinheiro FP, Rodrigues SG, Travassos da Rosa E, Cruz AC, et al. (1999) Aedes aegypti, dengue and re-urbanization of yellow fever in Brazil and other South American countries–Past and present situation and future perspectives. Dengue Bulletin 23:55-56.2Google Scholar