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
- Read Me: This Trans Poetics Anthology Imagines a World Where "Everything Belongs to Everyone"on November 24, 2020 at 4:32 pm
In their unabashed and uncompromising anthology, co-editors Andrea Abi-Karam and Kay Gabriel open a portal for readers to “inhabit revolutionary practice.” ...
- What makes a sustainability leader? Meet water management champions The Coca-Cola Foundation and WWF UKon November 24, 2020 at 4:21 am
Most chalk streams and other rivers in the area are failing to meet good ecological status due to diffuse pollution ... In particular, one area of delivery has been supporting farmers to install silt ...
- High yield value trap: party over for high yield bonds as risk no longer rewardedon November 23, 2020 at 9:13 pm
High yield bonds are no longer rewarding duration and credit risk correctly, argues RWC Partners’ Justin Craib-Cox, and investors should consider using convertible bonds to earn equity-like returns as ...
- Uganda's future is born with a green expresswayon November 23, 2020 at 6:51 am
The rich ecological assets, such as wetlands ... from production processes, which trap heat escaping to the atmosphere, thereby causing global warming. The emissions that are blamed for causing ...
- Ecological disaster in Tristan da Cunha: penguins and lobster at risk plus threat of ratson November 22, 2020 at 11:04 am
The Tristan Conservation Department has already placed baited rodent traps on the shore. The fuel oil and cargo of 1500 tons of heavy crude oil leaking into the sea is also posing a major hazard ...
- Alpine glacier resilience and Neoglacial fluctuations linked to Holocene snowfall trends in the western United Stateson November 18, 2020 at 2:37 pm
Glacier retreat affects the storage and release of freshwater (3) with local- to global-scale consequences, including water resource availability, ecological functioning ... stream and also acts as a ...
- Palouse landowner welcomes beavers, and their ecological wizardry, back to her landon November 18, 2020 at 5:07 am
Trap, drive, repeat. Then this fall the world ... unplugged. There are sound ecological reasons, particularly in Washington’s farm country, to keep beavers on the land. Jovanovich’s little ...
- The Amazon’s short-eared dog was thought to be a scavenger. Now there’s videoon November 16, 2020 at 3:59 pm
After installing a camera trap near a dead armadillo ... I think it is vitally important to understand the basic ecological needs of a medium-sized mammal, a canid, which lives in a very ...
- The foods that do the most damage to our climateon November 16, 2020 at 3:47 am
Methane traps heat about 80 percent more effectively ... treating the outdoors as if it was a factory rather than a set of ecological cycles.” That factory analogy can be seen further in how ...
via Bing News