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Using Urban Habitat Characteristics to Explain the Success of the Invasive Ochlerotatus Japonicus

Abstract

West Nile Virus was first introduced to the United States in 1999 in New York City. Since then, viral and vector distributions have been on the rise with thousands of reported human cases each year, especially in urban environments. This high risk of disease could be explained by many of the changes to landscape which occur with urbanization. One such potential explanation presented by this research investigates the idea that urban environment characteristics facilitate the introduction of invasive species. Mosquito species invasion can facilitate competition with a native mosquito and thus has the potential to threaten changes in native disease dynamics, especially if the native species is not a vector of diseases which the invader carries. In the present study, I tested the hypothesis that urban and rural temperature differences affect growth-rate, survivorship, and fecundity of the native mosquito when competing with the invasive species. Using the results of this study, we may be able to draw some conclusions on whether the urban heat island has an effect on the facilitation of this invasive mosquito.

Year of Publication
2011
Secondary Title
Undergraduate Ecology Research Reports
URL http://www.caryinstitute.org/reprints/sloyer_2011_REU.pdf
REU Research Report