Spatial distribution of Zika and dengue mosquitoes in urban environments of southern New Mexico

Authors: Michaela Buenemann*, New Mexico State University
Topics: Biogeography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Applied Geography
Keywords: vector-borne viruses, mosquitoes, spatial analysis, species distribution modeling, landscape ecology
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Lafayette, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 41st Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

A current and accurate understanding of the spatial distribution of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes is critical for countering the threat of diseases (e.g., Zika and dengue) transmitted by these mosquitoes. Based on our 2016 work in New Mexico, we now know that the two mosquito species are restricted to urban or built-up land in the southern part of the state. However, we do not know where within these environments the mosquitoes occur, making vector control challenging. To address this issue, we modeled the distribution of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus using mosquito field data and geospatial environmental data. We sampled mosquitoes in 354 sites across 13 cities of southern New Mexico. Sampling sites were selected using a proportional stratified random sampling design, with sites allocated relative to city size and sites located randomly in four strata (greenspaces and areas with low, medium, and high development). Mosquitoes were sampled using gravid traps and autocidal gravid ovitraps and identified using morphological keys. We considered a diversity of environmental data layers as potential predictors of mosquito presence, including variables related to land system architecture (i.e., land cover composition and configuration), climate, and topography. Species distribution modeling was accomplished using Maxent and logistic regression. Our results show that the occurrence probability of the mosquitoes varies across space, with land system architecture variables serving as the strongest predictors of mosquito presence.

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