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Predicting Culex pipiens/restuans population dynamics using a weather driven dynamic compartmental population model

Mosquitoes of the genus Culex are important vectors of a variety of arthropod-borne viral infections. In most of the northern parts of the USA, Cx. pipiens/restuans is the predominant representative of this genus. As vectors, they play a key role in the spreading of arboviruses and thus, knowledge of the population dynamic of mosquitoes is important to understand the disease ecology of these viruses. As poikilotherm animals, the vital rates of mosquitoes are highly dependent on ambient temperature, and also on precipitation.

We present a compartmental model for the population dynamics of Cx. pipiens/restuans. The model is driven by temperature, precipitation, and daytime length (which can be calculated from the geographic latitude). For model evaluation, we used long-term mosquito capture data, which were averaged from multiple sites in Cook County, Illinois. The model fitted the observation data and was able to reproduce between-year differences in the abundance of the Cx. pipiens/restuans mosquitoes, as well as the different seasonal trends.

Using this model, we evaluated the effectiveness of targeting different vital rates for mosquito control strategies. The final model is able to reproduce the weekly mean Cx. pipiens/restuans abundance for Cook County with a high accuracy, and over a long time period of 20 years.

K. Bakran-Lebl, L. J. Kjaer, B. Conrady, Predicting Culex pipiens/restuans population dynamics using a weather driven dynamic compartmental population model, Insects 14(3) (2023) 293.

Beate Conrady (Pinior)

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