The University of Arizona

Research Outcomes | CLIMAS

Research Outcomes

Results of the WNV study show that physical properties, such as the composition of the soil profile and the depth to bedrock are important variables to define the fundamental niche of both Culex species. Cu. tarsalis preferentially breeds in perennially wet environments such as irrigated fields, wetlands, and lakes, and is most influenced by annual rainfall and maximum temperature; maximum temperatures are not detrimental or conducive to Cu. quinquefasciatus. Cu. quinquefasciatus exhibits a bimodal population cycle that is influenced by both late winter/spring and summer rainfall. The predicted fundamental niche of Cu. tarsalis is a viable representation of the maximum spatial extent of the mosquito. There is a clear effect of slope and both frontal and monsoonal rainfall on the spatial heterogeneity of viable mosquito habitat. The predicted Cu. quinquefasciatus fundamental niche appears to be conservative.

Preliminary results from our dengue fever investigations show a strong association between summer season vegetation and Ae. aegypti presence. In a subtropical location, microclimatic variables influence Ae. aegypti presence/absence in a manner that is consistent with mosquito physiology. Before the onset of the monsoon, increased maximum temperatures are detrimental to Ae. aegypti presence. Controlling for vegetation, relatively warmer and drier locations are favorable for Ae. aegypti during the monsoon. After the monsoon ends, greater relative humidity is conducive to Ae. aegypti presence. Differences in human ecology between the three study sites appear to exert an important control on Ae. aegypti presence/absence.