TitleEutrophication and predator presence overrule the effects of temperature on mosquito survival and development.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSchrama, M, Gorsich, EE, Hunting, ER, S Barmentlo, H, Beechler, BR, van Bodegom, PM
JournalPLoS Negl Trop Dis
Date Published2018 03
KeywordsAnimals, Chironomidae, Culex, Eutrophication, Larva, Mosquito Control, Mosquito Vectors, Population Dynamics, Predatory Behavior, Temperature, West Nile Fever, West Nile virus

Adequate predictions of mosquito-borne disease risk require an understanding of the relevant drivers governing mosquito populations. Since previous studies have focused mainly on the role of temperature, here we assessed the effects of other important ecological variables (predation, nutrient availability, presence of conspecifics) in conjunction with the role of temperature on mosquito life history parameters. We carried out two mesocosm experiments with the common brown house mosquito, Culex pipiens, a confirmed vector for West Nile Virus, Usutu and Sindbis, and a controphic species; the harlequin fly, Chironomus riparius. The first experiment quantified interactions between predation by Notonecta glauca L. (Hemiptera: Notonectidae) and temperature on adult emergence. The second experiment quantified interactions between nutrient additions and temperature on larval mortality and adult emergence. Results indicate that 1) irrespective of temperature, predator presence decreased mosquito larval survival and adult emergence by 20-50%, 2) nutrient additions led to a 3-4-fold increase in mosquito adult emergence and a 2-day decrease in development time across all temperature treatments, 3) neither predation, nutrient additions nor temperature had strong effects on the emergence and development rate of controphic Ch. riparius. Our study suggests that, in addition to of effects of temperature, ecological bottom-up (eutrophication) and top-down (predation) drivers can have strong effects on mosquito life history parameters. Current approaches to predicting mosquito-borne disease risk rely on large-scale proxies of mosquito population dynamics, such as temperature, vegetation characteristics and precipitation. Local scale management actions, however, will require understanding of the relevant top-down and bottom-up drivers of mosquito populations.

Alternate JournalPLoS Negl Trop Dis
PubMed ID29579051
PubMed Central IDPMC5898759