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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. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 278 (1721). pp. 3142-3151. ISSN 1471-2954

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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% wAIC(c) 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: Article
Keywords: Malaria vector, population dynamics, malaria mosquitoes, vector control
Subjects: Malaria > Vector control
Divisions: Ifakara Health Institute > Biomedical
Depositing User: Mr Joseph Madata
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2012 06:35
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2012 15:57
URI: http://ihi.eprints.org/id/eprint/51

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