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Spatial and temporal patterns in Arctic mosquito abundance

November 18, 2022
  1. Organisms that undergo a shift in ontogeny and habitat type often change their spatial distribution throughout their life cycle, but how this affects population dynamics remains poorly understood.
  2. We examined spatial and temporal patterns in Aedes nigripes abundance, a widespread univoltine Arctic mosquito species (Diptera: Culicidae), hypothesizing that the spatial distribution of adults would be closely tied to aquatic habitat.
  3. We tracked adult densities of A. nigripes near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland using emergence traps, CO2-baited traps, and sweep-nets.
  4. In back-to-back years of sampling (2017 and 2018) we found two-fold variation in overall abundance.
  5. Adults were spatially patchy when first emerging from aquatic habitats but within a week, mean capture rates for host-seeking adult females were similar across locations, even in places far from larval habitat.
  6. Daily variation in mosquito captures was primarily explained by weather, with virtually no mosquito activity when temperatures averaged less than 8°C or wind speeds exceeded 6 m/s. Gravid females (3% of resting adults) were spatially patchy on the landscape, but not always in the same places where most adults emerged.
  7. The spatial distribution of adults is quickly uncoupled from the spatial distribution of larvae because A. nigripes females may disperse far from their natal habitats in search of a blood-meal and high-quality oviposition habitat.
  8. 8. This research highlights the value of studying ecological processes that act at disparate life stages for understanding the population biology of organisms with complex life cycles.
Publication Year 2023
Title Spatial and temporal patterns in Arctic mosquito abundance
DOI 10.1111/een.13198
Authors Melissa H DeSiervo, Rebecca A Finger-Higgens, Matthew P. Ayres, Ross A Virginia, Lauren E Culler
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ecological Applications
Index ID 70241182
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Southwest Biological Science Center