Tuesday, 28 October 2014

UK mosquitoes breed in water butts (journal)

British Container Breeding Mosquitoes: The Impact of Urbanisation and Climate Change on Community Composition and Phenology 

In Britain, storage of water in garden water butts is increasing, potentially expanding mosquito larval habitats and influencing population dynamics and mosquito-human contact. The authors show that the community composition, abundance and phenology of mosquitoes breeding in experimental water butt containers were influenced by urbanisation. Mosquitoes in urban containers were present in significantly higher densities than those in rural containers. Urban containers were dominated by Culex pipiens (a potential vector of West Nile Virus [WNV]) and Anopheles plumbeus (a human-biting potential WNV and malaria vector). Among other factors, this was associated with an urban heat island effect which raised temperatures by around 1°C. Further increases in domestic water storage in combination with climate change will likely alter mosquito population dynamics in the UK.

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