Anthropogenic impacts on mosquito populations in North America over the past century

Ilia Rochlin, Ary Faraji, Dominick V. Ninivaggi, Chris Barker, A. Marm Kilpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The recent emergence and spread of vector-borne viruses including Zika, chikungunya and dengue has raised concerns that climate change may cause mosquito vectors of these diseases to expand into more temperate regions. However, the long-term impact of other anthropogenic factors on mosquito abundance and distributions is less studied. Here, we show that anthropogenic chemical use (DDT; dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) and increasing urbanization were the strongest drivers of changes in mosquito populations over the last eight decades in areas on both coasts of North America. Mosquito populations have increased as much as tenfold, and mosquito communities have become two-to fourfold richer over the last five decades. These increases are correlated with the decay in residual environmental DDT concentrations and growing human populations, but not with temperature. These results illustrate the far-reaching impacts of multiple anthropogenic disturbances on animal communities and suggest that interactions between land use and chemical use may have unforeseen consequences on ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13604
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 6 2016

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DDT
North America
Culicidae
Viruses
Land use
Climate change
Ecosystems
Population
Coastal zones
Animals
land use
temperate regions
ecosystems
viruses
climate change
coasts
Dengue Virus
Urbanization
animals
Climate Change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Anthropogenic impacts on mosquito populations in North America over the past century. / Rochlin, Ilia; Faraji, Ary; Ninivaggi, Dominick V.; Barker, Chris; Kilpatrick, A. Marm.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 7, 13604, 06.12.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rochlin, Ilia ; Faraji, Ary ; Ninivaggi, Dominick V. ; Barker, Chris ; Kilpatrick, A. Marm. / Anthropogenic impacts on mosquito populations in North America over the past century. In: Nature Communications. 2016 ; Vol. 7.
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