Surrounding land use significantly influences adult mosquito abundance and species richness in urban mangroves
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Mangroves harbor mosquitoes capable of transmitting human pathogens; consequently, urban mangrove management must strike a balance between conservation and minimizing public health risks. Land use may play a key role in shaping the mosquito community within urban mangroves through either species spillover or altering the abundance of mosquitoes associated with the mangrove. In this study, we explore the impact of land use within 500 m of urban mangroves on the abundance and diversity of adult mosquito populations. Carbon dioxide baited traps were used to sample host-seeking female mosquitoes around nine mangrove forest sites along the Parramatta River, Sydney, Australia. Specimens were identified to species and for each site, mosquito species abundance, species richness and diversity were calculated and were analyzed in linear mixed effects models. We found that the percentage of residential land and bushland in the surrounding area had a negative effect on mosquito abundance and species richness. Conversely, the amount of mangrove had a significant positive effect on mosquito abundance, and the amount of industrial land had a significant positive effect on species richness. These results demonstrate the need for site-specific investigations of mosquito communities associated with specific habitat types and the importance of considering surrounding land use in moderating local mosquito communities. A greater understanding of local land use and its influence on mosquito habitats could add substantially to the predictive power of disease risk models and assist local authorities develop policies for urban development and wetland rehabilitation.
KeywordsMosquitoes Mangroves Urban Ecology Landuse Aedes vigilax Avicennia marina
The authors wish to thank the assistance of Mr John Clancy from NSW Health Pathology for assistance with identification of mosquito specimens, Kerry Darcovich and Swapan Paul of Sydney Olympic Park Authority for assistance in selecting sampling sites at Haslams Creek and Powells Creek. Dr. Cameron Webb is employed by NSW Health Pathology but no specific funding, only in kind support, was provided by the organisation for this research. Dr. Suzi Claflin was supported in her travel and stipend while in Australia by a Grant awarded by NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program in addition to an Orenstein endowment grant. These Grants supported Dr. Claflin during her Post-graduate candidature at Cornell University but were not specifically linked to this individual research project.
No specific funding was sought or awarded for the research presented in this manuscript.
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