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

Russell, Tanya L., Lwetoijera, Dickson W., Knols, Bart G.J., Takken, Willem, Killeen, Gerry F., and Ferguson, Heather 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.

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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 ID: 31422
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2954
Keywords: density dependence; body size; phenotypic plasticity; population dynamics; malaria; Anopheles gambiae
Additional Information:

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: Addessium Foundation (Reeuwijk, The Netherlands), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Wellcome Trust, BBSRC
Projects and Grants: BMGF (Award 51431), Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship 076806, BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship BBD020042/1
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2014 00:31
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060207 Population Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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