Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2017 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

The Influence of Climate and Socio-Ecological Factors on Ae. albopictus in Northeastern US cities.
Little, Eliza

Abstract: Ae. albopictus, an invasive mosquito vector is a significant public health threat both as a nuisance biter and vector of disease. Here, we present findings of two studies investigating the influence of climatic and socio-ecological factors on the distribution of Ae. albopictus within Northeastern US cities to better predict spatial heterogeneity in mosquito exposure risk. In Baltimore, we test the relative roles of infrastructure degradation, vegetation, and how precipitation interacts with these socially underpinned biophysical variables to explain the presence of Ae. albopictus. We show that decaying infrastructure and vegetation are important determinants of Ae. albopictus infestation and that both precipitation and vegetation influence mosquito production in ways that are mediated by the level of infrastructural decay on a given block. In NYC, we quantify the relationships between local environmental and meteorological conditions and the abundance of Ae. albopictus mosquitoes. Using statistical modeling, we create a fine-scale spatially explicit risk map of Ae. albopictus abundance and validate the accuracy of spatiotemporal model predictions using observational data from 2016. We find that key land use characteristics, including open spaces, residential areas, and vacant lots, and spring and early summer meteorological conditions are associated with annual Ae. albopictus abundance. Taken together these findings indicate that fine spatial scale modeling of mosquito habitat within urban areas is needed to more accurately determine the distribution of mosquito habitat essential for targeted vector control.