Ectotherms, like mosquitoes, have evolved specific responses to variation in environmental conditions like temperature, and these responses could confer a fitness benefit or cost when carried-over to different life stages. However, effects of temperature on animals with complex life-cycles often only focus on part of their life-cycle, or only consider how single aspects of life-history may carry over to new stages. Herein we investigated how temperature affects intraspecific larval competition and carry-over effects from larval to adult stages in the widespread invasive Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus.
For larval competition, larvae were reared at three densities (10, 20, and 40 individuals) across three source temperatures (21 °C, 27 °C and 34 °C). To test carry-over effects, adult survival was measured for individuals crossed with adult temperatures of 21 °C, 27 °C and 34 °C from the larval density of 20 individuals at each source temperature. Fecundity data also were obtained from mated females.
For competition, there was a significant interaction between larval density and temperature, with the smallest females, who took the longest to develop, produced in the highest temperatures; density generally accentuated this effect. Regarding carry-over effects, adults exposed to higher temperatures lead to greater differences in fecundity and survival of adult populations.
Temperature appears to affect life-history of developing larvae under competitive interactions and can also alter adult fitness as the disparity between larval rearing and adult habitat temperatures increases. This has importance for our understanding for how different life-history stages of Ae. albopictus and other vectors of disease may respond to changing climates.
Parasites & Vectors
Ezeakacha, N. F.,
(2019). The Role of Temperature in Affecting Carry-Over Effects and Larval Competition in the Globally Invasive Mosquito Aedes albopictus. Parasites & Vectors, 12, 1-11.
Available at: https://aquila.usm.edu/fac_pubs/15981