Analysis of Genetic Algorithm for Rule-Set Production (GARP) modeling approach for predicting distributions of fleas implicated as vectors of plague, Yersinia pestis, in California

Jennifer C Z Adjemian, Evan H. Girvetz, Laurel A Beckett, Janet E Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

More than 20 species of fleas in California are implicated as potential vectors of Yersinia pestis. Extremely limited spatial data exist for plague vectors-a key component to understanding where the greatest risks for human, domestic animal, and wildlife health exist. This study increases the spatial data available for 13 potential plague vectors by using the ecological niche modeling system Genetic Algorithm for Rule-Set Production (GARP) to predict their respective distributions. Because the available sample sizes in our data set varied greatly from one species to another, we also performed an analysis of the robustness of GARP by using the data available for flea Oropsylla montana (Baker) to quantify the effects that sample size and the chosen explanatory variables have on the final species distribution map. GARP effectively modeled the distributions of 13 vector species. Furthermore, our analyses show that all of these modeled ranges are robust, with a sample size of six fleas or greater not significantly impacting the percentage of the in-state area where the flea was predicted to be found, or the testing accuracy of the model. The results of this study will help guide the sampling efforts of future studies focusing on plague vectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-103
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Volume43
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

Keywords

  • California
  • Fleas
  • GARP
  • Plague
  • Vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • veterinary(all)

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