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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342714

Title: Copula modeling of differential effect of leaf species on Aedes albopictus development time

item KIM, CHANG-HYUN - University Of Illinois
item Muturi, Ephantus
item LEE, SEUNG-HWAN - Illinois Wesleyan University

Submitted to: Environment and Natural Resources Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2018
Publication Date: 10/11/2018
Citation: Kim, C., Muturi, E.J., Lee, S. 2018. Copula modeling of differential effect of leaf species on Aedes albopictus development time. Environment and Natural Resources Research. 8(4).

Interpretive Summary: Mosquitoes develop in a variety of aquatic habitats that derive their carbon input from fallen plant parts especially senescent leaves. The leaf litter is colonized by microbial communities that provide a critical food resource for mosquito larvae. Because several plant species occur at any given location, mosquito larval habitats are typically exposed to leaf litter from multiple leaf species as opposed to a single leaf species. We combined empirical data with statistical models to determine the effect of five leaf litter mixtures on development time of Aedes albopictus. These included black alder (Alnus glutinusa), black walnut (Juglans nigra), common bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), eastern white pine (Pinus strobes), and sugar maple (Acer saccharum). Leaf infusion of eastern white pine produced the longest expected development time while bald cypress leaf infusion produced the shortest development time for Ae. albopictus. Copula model revealed if all the leaf treatments were aggregated, the expected development time would be longer than observed under bald cypress treatment and shorter than observed under eastern white pine treatment. These findings improve current knowledge on mosquito-plant interactions and has the potential to discover a novel plant-based strategy for mosquito control.

Technical Abstract: Decaying leaves provide a major carbon source for mosquito larvae and leaf litter of different plant species vary in their ability to support mosquito growth, survival, and development. Thus analyzing the effects of leaf species treatment on development time of Aedes albopictus has the potential to discover a plant-based strategy for mosquito control. Here, we employ a statistical model named copula that provides a convenient methodology for modeling multivariate dependence to determine the association between leaf litter identify and mosquito performance. A copula that best fits the association of leaf litters on mosquito performance is selected, and statistical tests are performed to check the adequacy of the copula chosen. By computer-based Monte Carlo methods, a large number of simulated development times are generated under the copula chosen. From the simulated development times, we calculate the percentiles to determine expected development time of female Aedes albopictus under the five different leaf species treatments, and compared the results to those when all the effects of leaf infusion are combined.