Linking individual phenotype to density-dependent population growth: the influence of body size on the population dynamics of malaria vectors

Russell, T.L., Lwetoijera, D.W., Knols, B.G.J., Takken, W., Killeen, G.F. and Ferguson, H.M. (2011) Linking individual phenotype to density-dependent population growth: the influence of body size on the population dynamics of malaria vectors. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences, 278(1721), pp. 3142-3151. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.0153)

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Abstract

Understanding the endogenous factors that drive the population dynamics of malaria mosquitoes will facilitate more accurate predictions about vector control effectiveness and our ability to destabilize the growth of either low- or high-density insect populations. We assessed whether variation in phenotypic traits predict the dynamics of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato mosquitoes, the most important vectors of human malaria. Anopheles gambiae dynamics were monitored over a six-month period of seasonal growth and decline. The population exhibited density-dependent feedback, with the carrying capacity being modified by rainfall (97% wAICc support). The individual phenotypic expression of the maternal (p = 0.0001) and current (p = 0.040) body size positively influenced population growth. Our field-based evidence uniquely demonstrates that individual fitness can have population-level impacts and, furthermore, can mitigate the impact of exogenous drivers (e.g. rainfall) in species whose reproduction depends upon it. Once frontline interventions have suppressed mosquito densities, attempts to eliminate malaria with supplementary vector control tools may be attenuated by increased population growth and individual fitness.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ferguson, Dr Heather
Authors: Russell, T.L., Lwetoijera, D.W., Knols, B.G.J., Takken, W., Killeen, G.F., and Ferguson, H.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
Publisher:The Royal Society
ISSN:0962-8452
ISSN (Online):1471-2954
Published Online:09 March 2011
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2011 The Royal Society
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences 278(1721):3142-3151
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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