Shift in the spatial and temporal distribution of Aedes taeniorhynchus following environmental and local developments in St. Johns County, Florida

Whitney A. Qualls*, Madeline R. Steck, James R. Weaver, Yong Zhang, Rui de Xue, Mohamed F. Sallam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Anastasia Mosquito Control District (AMCD) of St. Johns County (SJC), St. Augustine, Florida, USA, was formed in 1948 to cover the 27 km2 of Anastasia Island and control the black salt marsh mosquito, Aedes taeniorhynchus (Wiedemann). Today AMCD covers the entirety of SJC (1588 km2) and Ae. taeniorhynchus is still the most abundant mosquito species in the county. Here we present the findings from 16 years’ worth of surveillance records of AMCD mosquito populations in conjunction with annual land-use land-cover (LULC) change and climate data to better understand how environmental factors have impacted SJC Ae. taeniorhynchus populations in recent history. The statistical regression and geospatial analyses demonstrated the presence of spatial and temporal clusters of Ae. taeniorhynchus populations in terms of abundance and distribution. Additionally, Ae. taeniorhynchus abundance and distribution were significantly influenced by the annual changes of LULC and climate variables. The linear regression analysis using standard least square and corrected Akaike Information Criterion revealed a migration of mangrove swamps and saltwater marshes that corresponded to a southern shift in the spatial–temporal distribution of Ae. taeniorhynchus communities. This was confirmed by the significant change in LULC characteristics between three representative years (2004, 2009, 2014) and the redistribution of Ae. taeniorhynchus abundances represented by Moran’s I index values. The annual values of four climate variables (average and minimum temperature, mean dew point, and maximum vapor pressure deficit) and three LULC types (mangrove swamps, saltwater pools within saltmarshes, and upland nonforested) significantly predicted annual abundance and redistribution of Ae. taeniorhynchus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1080
Number of pages16
JournalWetlands Ecology and Management
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Land use
  • Mosquitoes
  • Population dynamics
  • Saltmarsh

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