Ecological traps have the potential to effectively control pest species and inhibit the spread of infectious diseases, according to a University of Maine researcher.
A recently published study led by Allison Gardner, an assistant professor of arthropod vector biology at UMaine, provides new insights into how ecological traps, which occur when organisms show preference for low-quality habitats over other available high-quality sites, happen in nature and a proof-of-concept for an attract-and-kill tool for mosquito control.
Mosquito-borne diseases exact a toll on human health around the world. Adult mosquito abundance is considered among the most important predictors of humans’ exposure to mosquito-borne pathogens, according to Gardner.
Within recent decades, mosquito management strategies that rely exclusively on insecticide use in aquatic larval habitats have fallen short, Gardner says, due to the evolution of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes, impacts of insecticides on other species, and perceived and actual risks regarding the environmental and public health safety of insecticides.
“The abundance of mosquitoes in aquatic habitats and the efficacy of conventional insecticides for juvenile mosquito control are strongly influenced by variables such as rainfall, water chemistry, and the species and structure of terrestrial vegetation in the surrounding environment,” Gardner says. “This suggests that ecologically based strategies could complement insecticide use for environmentally safe and sustainable mosquito abatement.”
In an article published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Gardner explores the use of ecological traps to control mosquitoes. “Discovery and exploitation of a natural ecological trap for a mosquito disease vector” was co-written by Ephantus Muturi, a research entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Crop Bioprotection Research Unit, and Brian Allan, an associate professor of entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The mechanisms generating ecological traps could provide tools for creating traps that are more effective in controlling pest species compared to conventional approaches such as insecticide use. The attract-and-kill concept has been used for decades to control agricultural and forest pests but remains underexplored for mosquitoes, the researchers say.
The team’s previous research identified leaf litter from common blackberry as a natural ecological trap for Culex pipiens, a species of mosquito that transmits West Nile virus in the United States. The leaf litter attracts mosquitoes, causing them to lay eggs in habitats that are detrimental to the survival of their larvae.
In the study, the team demonstrated that manipulation of leaf litter in stormwater catch basins, which provide important breeding grounds for mosquito disease vectors in urban environments, can increase the rate in which Cx. pipiens lay eggs, or oviposit, but reduce survival.
A series of experiments suggests that oviposition site selection by Cx. pipiens is mediated primarily by chemical cues as leaves decompose. However, the study also shows that juvenile mosquito survival mainly is related to the suitability of the bacterial community in the aquatic habitat for mosquito nutritional needs, which does not appear to create a cue that influences oviposition choice.
The mismatch between oviposition cues and drivers of larval habitat quality may account for the ecological trap phenomenon detected in the study, according to the researchers.
The findings demonstrate that certain leaf litter types offer potential for the development of novel mosquito control strategies. Results suggest mosquito abatement may be enhanced by using oviposition attractants to lure females to lay eggs in habitats unsuitable to the survival of larvae, potentially increasing the effectiveness of control efforts by wasting female production and reducing juvenile survival.
The researchers recommend future research to assess the duration of success of leaf litter-derived attractants and toxins, including whether the ecological trap treatment continues to attract mosquitoes and whether its detrimental effect may diminish over time, as well as potential dose-dependence of the attractant properties of leaf detritus.
The Latest on: Ecological traps
via Google News
The Latest on: Ecological traps
- Mapping behaviorally relevant light pollution levels to improve urban habitat planningon August 15, 2019 at 2:38 am
Artificial nighttime lights have important behavioral and ecological effects on wildlife ... 6J mice exhibited altered circadian activity patterns. We then used camera trap and high-altitude ...
- This Carnivorous Plant Invaded New York. That May Be Its Only Hope.on August 13, 2019 at 1:25 pm
When prey tickles one of the waterwheel’s traps, it snaps shut in less than 10 milliseconds ... there’s no direct evidence yet of it crowding out native species or posing other economic, ecological or ...
- Trump Administration Re-Authorizes Using 'Cyanide Bombs' to Kill Coyotes and Dogs. Here's What to Knowon August 9, 2019 at 12:53 pm
“They really have time and time again put business interests ahead of people’s health, ahead of ecological health, it’s really more of the same.” Known as “M-44s”, the spring-loaded traps are covered ...
- EPA reauthorizes use of "cyanide bombs" to kill wildlifeon August 9, 2019 at 1:55 am
Opponents sited the dangers to residential areas and ecological concerns. M-44s are horrific death traps full of cyanide that kill thousands of unsuspecting animals every year, even pets. Despite ...
- This Biotech Cleans up Drugs from Sewage Using Enzymeson August 9, 2019 at 12:38 am
This technology could reduce the ecological and health risks caused by these drugs ... Once the enzyme is ready to use, Pharem traps the proteins inside a column which the wastewater flows through.
- Wanuskewin starts ecological assessment ahead of UNESCO bidon July 20, 2019 at 1:00 am
Along with the camera traps, the park is working with other university departments ... All of the resource management and ecological monitoring activity is done under the guidance of an Indigenous ...
- Researchers find seaweed helps trap carbon dioxide in sedimenton June 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Their work is published in the journal Ecological Monographs by the Ecological Society of America. The researchers, who partnered with ecologists from Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the United Kingdom, ...
- Researchers find seaweed helps trap carbon dioxide in sedimenton June 3, 2019 at 5:14 am
Their work is published in the journal Ecological Monographs by the Ecological Society of ... storage literature in favor of seagrasses and mangroves, which physically trap carbon from sediments and ...
- Study looks at ecological traps to minimize human risk of mosquito-borne pathogenson November 30, 2018 at 5:26 am
Ecological traps have the potential to effectively control pest species and inhibit the spread of infectious diseases, according to a University of Maine researcher. A recently published study led by ...
via Bing News