Aedes albopictus and its environmental limits in Europe

  • The Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus, native to South East Asia, is listed as one of the worst invasive vector species worldwide. In Europe the species is currently restricted to Southern Europe, but due to the ongoing climate change, Ae. albopictus is expected to expand its potential range further northwards. In addition to modelling the habitat suitability for Ae. albopictus under current and future climatic conditions in Europe by means of the maximum entropy approach, we here focused on the drivers of the habitat suitability prediction. We explored the most limiting factors for Aedes albopictus in Europe under current and future climatic conditions, a method which has been neglected in species distribution modelling so far. Ae. albopictus is one of the best-studied mosquito species, which allowed us to evaluate the applied Maxent approach for most limiting factor mapping. We identified three key limiting factors for Ae. albopictus in Europe under current climatic conditions: winter temperature in Eastern Europe, summer temperature in Southern Europe. Model findings were in good accordance with commonly known establishment thresholds in Europe based on climate chamber experiments and derived from the geographical distribution of the species. Under future climatic conditions low winter temperature were modelled to remain the most limiting factor in Eastern Europe, whereas in Central Europe annual mean temperature and summer temperatures were modelled to be replaced by summer precipitation, respectively, as most limiting factors. Changes in the climatic conditions in terms of the identified key limiting factors will be of great relevance regarding the invasive potential of the Ae. albopictus. Thus, our results may help to understand the key drivers of the suggested range expansion under climate change and may help to improve monitoring programmes. The applied approach of investigating limiting factors has proven to yield valuable results and may also provide valuable insights into the drivers of the prediction of current and future distribution of other species. This might be particularly interesting for other vector species that are of increasing public health concerns.

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Author:Sarah CunzeORCiDGND, Judith KochmannORCiD, Lisa Katharina KochORCiDGND, Sven KlimpelORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):PLoS One
Place of publication:Lawrence, Kan.
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2016/09/07
Date of first Publication:2016/09/07
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/09/08
Issue:(9): e0162116
Page Number:14
First Page:1
Last Page:14
Copyright: © 2016 Cunze et al. 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 author and source are credited.
Institutes:Biowissenschaften / Biowissenschaften
Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft
Biowissenschaften / Institut für Ökologie, Evolution und Diversität
Fachübergreifende Einrichtungen / Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum (BiK-F)
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0