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Climate Change

Hotter Weather Due To Climate Change Could Lead To More Mosquitos: Study

Warmer temperatures accelerate the development time of larvae, leading to a smaller window of time for dragonflies could eat them, the study conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University scientists stated

Hotter Weather Due To Climate Change Could Lead To More Mosquitos: Study
The researchers found that warmer temperature pools had more aquatic mosquito larvae, even when their predators that naturally control the populations were present.

Virginia: A recent study conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University scientists found that a warmer environment may result in more mosquitos as predators struggle to maintain their number. As the cover feature in Ecology, a journal published by the Ecological Society of America, the study – “Warming and Top-Down Control of Stage-Structured Prey: Linking Theory to Patterns in Natural Systems” — found that rising temperatures, often linked to climate change, can make predators of mosquito larvae less effective at controlling mosquito populations.

Also Read: World Headed For Nearly 3 Degrees Celsius Warming If Drastic Steps Not Taken: UN Report

Warmer temperatures accelerate the development time of larvae, leading to a smaller window of time for dragonflies could eat them.

This means there could be nearly twice as many mosquito larvae that make it to adulthood in the study area. The researchers looked at riverine rock pools at Belle Isle along the James River in Richmond and found that warmer temperature pools had more aquatic mosquito larvae, even when their predators that naturally control the populations were present.

The native rock pool mosquito is not an important disease vector, but it is one of the few local mosquitos that doesn’t have to feed as an adult to lay eggs. So the findings might apply to similar taxa, like the invasive Asian rock pool mosquito. Andrew T Davidson, PhD, lead researcher on the study, said,

We might see larger populations of everyone’s least favorite bug, mosquitos. While the mosquito larvae we studied here [are] the North American rock pool mosquito, these findings likely apply to species of mosquito that do act as vectors for diseases like West Nile or even Zika virus.

He conducted the research through the PhD program in VCU’s Center for Integrative Life Sciences Education.

Also Read: “Climate Change Hits Women’s Health Harder,” Say Activists, Expect World Leaders To Address It At COP28

Predators help stabilise ecosystems and food webs, and the study looked at predator-prey interaction between dragonfly nymphs and mosquito larvae. Before fieldwork, the research was rooted in concepts of thermal physiology and short-term lab experiments that yielded predictive models of the relationship between predators, prey and temperature in the field. The field study then tested the models in a completely natural environment.

The study builds on Davidson’s earlier research in Functional Ecology as well as work by lab mate C. Ryland Stunkle and the rest of the VCU rock pool team. The team also acknowledges the collaborative support of professor Brian Byrd of Western Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

The recent work led by Davidson was part of a larger National Science Foundation grant that has involved scientists from VCU, the University of Richmond, Radford University, Western Carolina University and Eastern Carolina University. The collaborative award of nearly USD 1 million has included nearly USD 400,000 for VCU.

Also Read: Climate Crisis Set To Put More Lives At Risk With No Action To Phase Out Fossil Fuels: Report

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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