Mosquitoes in a Warmer World

Contributor(s): 
February 13, 2013

Early models of the effects global warming on mosquito-borne disease assume that increased temperature in the 18-30C range will favor mosquito development without detrimental costs, ignoring the fact that increased temperature is more energetically demanding for ectotherms that do not maintain their body temperature. In their YCEI funded work, Padmanabha et al. integrate theory with prior laboratory experiments and knowledge of mosquito physiology in order to derive a mathematical model that describes how mosquitoes physiologically adapt to temperature. The authors subsequently validate the capacity of this model to predict key life history traits of the prolific human disease vector, the mosquito Aedes aegypti . They show that larvae are able to detect energetic conditions and modify growth and development accordingly in order to optimize energy reserves in adult life. The model developed in this paper provides a mechanistic framework for investigating the impact of environmental change on the population dynamics of the Dengue Fever vector.

References

Padmanabha, Harish. ”An eco-physiological model of the impact of temperature on Aedes aegypti life history traits.” Journal of Insect Physiology 58 (2012), pp. 1597-1608. 23 Nov 2012.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2012.09.015