- Flight distance of mosquitoes (Culicidae): A metadata analysis to support the management of barrier zones around rewetted and newly constructed wetlands
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- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Society responds to changes in climate and land use via mitigation measures, including rainwater retention and storage in rewetted and newly constructed wetlands. Humans living close to these wetlands express concerns about future mosquito nuisance situations, and request the necessary distance between human occupation and wetlands to avoid such problems. Wetland managers need to know the distance required, as well as the type of management needed for such buffer or barrier zones. Here we performed an extensive literature survey to collect quantitative information on mosquito flight distance and the relevant environmental conditions. Mosquitoes have an average maximum flight distance of between 50 m and 50 km, depending on the species. Long-distance or migratory flights are strongly related to species ecological preferences and physiology, are survived by few specimens, and do not relate to nuisance situations. Nuisance-related or non-oriented flights are also species-specific and cover much shorter distances-between 25 m and 6 km for the 23 species analyzed. Based on these results, we made regression-based estimations of the percentages of the population that cross certain distances. A 90% reduction in breeding site population density would require minimal distances of 56 m for Anopheles saperoi and 8.6 km for Anopheles sinensis, and much greater distances for Aedes vexans, Culex quinquefasciatus, and Culiseta morsitans. Little useful information was available regarding the environmental conditions under which non-oriented flights took place. Qualitatively, the review showed that flight capacity was influenced by landscape structure, meteorological conditions (temperature, humidity, and illumination), and species physiology (energy available for flight). Overall, our findings suggest that predictions regarding the construction of barrier zones around breeding sites can be made based on mosquito and host density and human nuisance perception, and that barrier zone usefulness strongly depends on the mosquito species involved. Additional quantitative research is needed to better document the non-oriented dispersal patterns of the mosquitoes that populate rewetted and newly constructed wetlands, and the effects of vegetation types in barrier zones on mosquito densities.
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