High Resolution Spatial Analysis of Habitat Preference of Aedes Albopictus (Diptera Culicidae) in an Urban Environment

Daniela Cianci, Nienke Hartemink, Caroline B Zeimes, Sophie O Vanwambeke, Annamaria Ienco, Beniamino Caputo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Over the past decades, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1895)) has emerged in many countries, and it has colonized new environments, including urban areas. The species is a nuisance and a potential vector of several human pathogens, and a better understanding of the habitat preferences of the species is needed for help in successful prevention and control. So far, the habitat preference in urban environments has not been studied in Southern European cities. In this paper, spatial statistical models were used to evaluate the relationship between egg abundances and land cover types on the campus of Sapienza University in Rome, which is taken as an example of a European urban habitat. Predictor variables included land cover types, classified in detail on a high resolution image, as well as solar radiation and month of capture. The models account for repeated measures in the same trap and are adjusted for meteorological circumstances. Vegetation and solar radiation were found to be positively related to the number of eggs. More specifically, trees were positively related to the number of eggs and the relationship with grass was negative. These findings are consistent with the species' known preference for shaded areas. The unexpected positive relationship with solar radiation is amply discussed in the paper. This study represents a first step toward a better understanding of the spatial distribution of Ae. albopictus in urban environments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)329-335
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
    Volume52
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • Aedes albopictus
    • Urban habitat preference
    • Ovitrap
    • Geographic Mapping
    • Models, Biological
    • Spatial analysis
    • vector-borne disease
    • Rome

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