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JEMCA20231002_ESM.pdf (547.47 kB)

Supplementary materials for the Journal of the European Mosquito Control Association: Mosquito diversity and abundance in English wetlands – empirical evidence to guide predictions for wetland suitability for mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae)

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-01, 08:53 authored by J.M. Medlock, F.M. Hawkes, R.A. Cheke, G. Gibson, A.J. Abbott, B. Cull, S. Gandy, H. Hardy, T. Acott, A.G.C. Vaux

The absence of habitat-based guidance for wetland managers on the British mosquito assemblages has in recent years prevented development of the ecological aspect of medical entomology in the UK. This has been particularly relevant in the context of emerging mosquito-borne disease and the creation of wetlands for biodiversity and flood-alleviation goals. This study aimed to provide empirically derived habitat-based predictions in order to assess the suitability of English wetland habitats for mosquitoes. Entomological field data on mosquito density and diversity were collected at 12 English wetlands in 2017 and 2018 using immature and adult mosquito surveys. Wetlands were chosen representing a number of wetland categories that included coastal, urban, wet woodland and established freshwater wetlands to identify key species and functional groups to inform predictions of mosquitoes by aquatic habitat type. Nineteen species were recorded from eight functional groups, totalling 38,577 adult female (19 mosquito species groups) and ~2,000 immature mosquitoes in 13 aquatic habitat types. Approximately 90% of all trapped mosquitoes were attributed to one of five species groups. The most common species were: Aedes (Och.) caspius (Pallas, 1771) (~35% of all mosquitoes), associated with coastal estuarine and flooded grassland sites, Ae. cantans/annulipes (19.7%) in wet woodland field sites, Anopheles claviger (16.2%) and Coquillettidia richiardii (12.6%) with the widest occurrence, found in nearly all field sites, and Ae. detritus (6.9%) in brackish field sites. Across the study, adult mosquito activity increased from week 21 with wet woodland Aedes mosquitoes, until week 40 with open-flood water species, with greatest diversity of species during weeks 23–30. The resulting data informs efforts towards developing predictive tools for non-entomologists to accurately predict the presence and abundance of British mosquitoes in a given habitat, using local knowledge of seasonal aquatic habitats.


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