Mosquito Population Regulation and Larval Source Management in Heterogeneous Environments

David L. Smith, T. Alex Perkins, Lucy S. Tusting, Thomas W. Scott, Steven W. Lindsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An important question for mosquito population dynamics, mosquito-borne pathogen transmission and vector control is how mosquito populations are regulated. Here we develop simple models with heterogeneity in egg laying patterns and in the responses of larval populations to crowding in aquatic habitats. We use the models to evaluate how such heterogeneity affects mosquito population regulation and the effects of larval source management (LSM). We revisit the notion of a carrying capacity and show how heterogeneity changes our understanding of density dependence and the outcome of LSM. Crowding in and productivity of aquatic habitats is highly uneven unless egg-laying distributions are fine-tuned to match the distribution of habitats' carrying capacities. LSM reduces mosquito population density linearly with coverage if adult mosquitoes avoid laying eggs in treated habitats, but quadratically if eggs are laid in treated habitats and the effort is therefore wasted (i.e., treating 50% of habitat reduces mosquito density by approximately 75%). Unsurprisingly, targeting (i.e. treating a subset of the most productive pools) gives much larger reductions for similar coverage, but with poor targeting, increasing coverage could increase adult mosquito population densities if eggs are laid in higher capacity habitats. Our analysis suggests that, in some contexts, LSM models that accounts for heterogeneity in production of adult mosquitoes provide theoretical support for pursuing mosquito-borne disease prevention through strategic and repeated application of modern larvicides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere71247
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 7 2013

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Culicidae
Ecosystem
Population
Population dynamics
Eggs
habitats
Crowding
Pathogens
oviposition
aquatic habitat
Conservation of Natural Resources
carrying capacity
Population Density
Ovum
Productivity
population density
mosquito-borne diseases
Mosquito Control
larvicides
Infectious Disease Transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Smith, D. L., Perkins, T. A., Tusting, L. S., Scott, T. W., & Lindsay, S. W. (2013). Mosquito Population Regulation and Larval Source Management in Heterogeneous Environments. PLoS One, 8(8), [e71247]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071247

Mosquito Population Regulation and Larval Source Management in Heterogeneous Environments. / Smith, David L.; Perkins, T. Alex; Tusting, Lucy S.; Scott, Thomas W.; Lindsay, Steven W.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 8, No. 8, e71247, 07.08.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smith, DL, Perkins, TA, Tusting, LS, Scott, TW & Lindsay, SW 2013, 'Mosquito Population Regulation and Larval Source Management in Heterogeneous Environments', PLoS One, vol. 8, no. 8, e71247. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071247
Smith, David L. ; Perkins, T. Alex ; Tusting, Lucy S. ; Scott, Thomas W. ; Lindsay, Steven W. / Mosquito Population Regulation and Larval Source Management in Heterogeneous Environments. In: PLoS One. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 8.
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