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Title:Effect of container size and larval competition on adult fitness of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae)
Author(s):Parker, Allison Therese
Advisor(s):Muturi, Ephantus J.; Allan, Brian F.
Contributor(s):Suarez, Andrew V.
Department / Program:Entomology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Aedes aegypti
Aedes albopictus
artificial containers
condition-specific competition
Abstract:Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae), co-occur in a variety of water-filled containers where they compete for limited resources. Aedes albopictus larvae often outcompete those of Ae. aegypti but variation in biotic and abiotic parameters can modify the outcome of interspecific competition between the two mosquito species. In this study, we conducted laboratory bioassays to test the hypothesis that container size alters the magnitude and direction of intra- and interspecific competition between Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus. Three container sizes were tested across intra- and interspecific larval competition of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, and two levels of food were used to determine if the direction of the effects of container size on the outcome of competition were consistent regardless of nutrient availability. Both A. aegypti and Ae. albopictus had higher adult emergence from small- and medium-sized containers compared to large containers. For both species, time to eclosion was longer and adult body size was smaller for larvae reared in the large containers compared to larvae reared in the small and medium containers. There was a significant difference in emergence between the two food treatments, with the lower amount of food having lower emergence rates across all treatment combinations. Whether Ae. aegypti fared better under intraspecific versus interspecific competition also depended on container size. The results of our experiment show that container size can affect the outcome of intra- and interspecific competition for Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus. Such variation in the outcomes of competition due to differences in size of the container habitat may help account for the observed patterns of competitive exclusion and coexistence seen in the field for Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus.
Issue Date:2016-04-26
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Allison Parker
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-07-07
Date Deposited:2016-05

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