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Title:The Effect of Garden Plant Diversity on Mosquito Species that Act as Infectious Disease Vectors in Central Illinois
Author(s):Stables, Nathan
Contributor(s):Molano-Flores, Brenda
Abstract:Urban landscaping plants provide many ecosystem benefits including increased biodiversity and habitat for many organisms including mosquitoes. However, the impact of urban landscaping plants on the behavior/ecology of mosquitoes that may transmit pathogenic diseases is relatively understudied. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of mosquito disease vector species (e.g., West Nile virus-transmitting Culex pipiens & Culex restuans) and other local mosquito species in gardens with high versus low plant diversity in Champaign-Urbana. From August to October 2015, two types of mosquito traps (light and gravid) were placed weekly at twelve local garden sites; six sites were selected as Master Garden sites, chosen for their high plant diversity, and six were paired control sites selected for low plant species diversity. Traps were placed at each site for 24 hours and after collection, mosquitoes were identified and quantified in the lab. A plant list was generated for each site to characterize plant species richness. In total, 25 mosquito species were observed, with the most abundant occurrences being Aedes albopictus, Aedes japonicus, Aedes vexans, Culex pipiens, and Culex spp. A significant difference was found for the total number of mosquitoes collected using light versus gravid traps after accounting for site diversity, but not between master garden sites (with high plant diversity and abundance) versus low diversity control sites. Significant differences were found at the genus level with both Aedes and Anopheles mosquitoes having higher abundance at sites with low plant diversity. However, at the species level non-significant differences were found for mosquito abundance between high and low plant species diversity sites. Lastly, it was found that two Anopheles species are significantly correlated with trap collection date. The findings of this study suggest that local gardens with high plant diversity do not provide additional resources that result in a higher quantity of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus and other diseases.
Issue Date:2016
Publisher:Integrative Biology Honors
Citation Info:Stables, Nathan.(2016, April). The Effect of Garden Plant Diversity on Mosquito Species that Act as Infectious Disease Vectors in Central Illinois Poster session presented at Undergraduate Research Symposium, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.
Sponsor:LAS Preble Research Grant fall 2015
Rights Information:Copyright 2016, Stables
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-05-02

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