: Although the quantity of detritus entering water-filled containers has well-known positive effects on performance mosquitoes such as Ochlerotatus triseriatus (vector of LaCrosse encephalitis) and Aedes albopictus (vector of dengue and other viruses), the mechanistic connection between detritus and mosquito production is less well understood. Most container mosquitoes do not feed detritus itself (leaves, insect carcasses, and nutrient-bearing stem flow), but rather on bacteria, fungi, and protozoans that form a food chain with detritus at its base. The few studies that have investigated the relationship between microorganism populations and detritus amounts or types have done so by measuring static densities of microbes, but such counts do not represent rates of productivity. It is the rate of conversion of these detritus resources to edible microorganism biomass that determines production of mosquito adults, and perhaps the composition of local container mosquito communities. We will determine how changes in the types and amounts of detritus inputs into containers affect the productivity (measured as rates of consumption of oxygen and leucine incorporation into protein) of microorganism communities, and how microorganism productivity translates into the performance Oc. triseriatus and Ae. albopictus, as well as the invertebrate community with which they exist. Our first specific aim is to determine how detritus input rates vary between tree holes (primary habitat of Oc. triseriatus) and tires (primary habitat of Ae. albopictus), and how these rates of input vary in space and time. We will use this information to pursue our second aim, determining how input rates are correlated with microorganism productivity in the field, and our third aim, determining how composition of detritus input determines microorganism productivity under controlled conditions.
Our fourth aim i s to determine how detritus composition, and associated differences in microorganism productivity affect the outcome of competition between Oc. triseriatus and Ae. atbopictus. Our fifth aim is to use information from aims 1 - 3 as a base for a field experiment to determine how changing total amount and rate of input of detritus to containers affects abundance of mosquitoes and invertebrate diversity in nature. This research will increase our knowledge of determinants of vector mosquito production and distribution and abundance.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Academic Research Enhancement Awards (AREA) (R15)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-TMP (01))
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Costero, Adriana
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Illinois State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Yee, Donald A; Juliano, Steven A (2012) Concurrent effects of resource pulse amount, type, and frequency on community and population properties of consumers in detritus-based systems. Oecologia 169:511-22
Kaufman, Michael G; Pelz-Stelinski, Kirsten S; Yee, Donald A et al. (2010) Stable Isotope Analysis Reveals Detrital Resource Base Sources of the Tree Hole Mosquito, Aedes triseriatus. Ecol Entomol 35:586-593
Yee, Donald A; Kneitel, Jamie M; Juliano, Steven A (2010) Environmental correlates of abundances of mosquito species and stages in discarded vehicle tires. J Med Entomol 47:53-62
Kesavaraju, Banugopan; Yee, Donald A; Juliano, Steven A (2007) Interspecific and intraspecific differences in foraging preferences of container-dwelling mosquitoes. J Med Entomol 44:215-21
Yee, Donald A; Kesavaraju, Banugopan; Juliano, Steven A (2007) Direct and indirect effects of animal detritus on growth, survival, and mass of invasive container mosquito Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae). J Med Entomol 44:580-8
Kling, Lindsey J; Juliano, Steven A; Yee, Donald A (2007) Larval mosquito communities in discarded vehicle tires in a forested and unforested site: detritus type, amount, and water nutrient differences. J Vector Ecol 32:207-17
Yee, Donald A; Kaufman, Michael G; Juliano, Steven A (2007) The significance of ratios of detritus types and micro-organism productivity to competitive interactions between aquatic insect detritivores. J Anim Ecol 76:1105-15
Yee, Donald A; Yee, Susan Harrell; Kneitel, Jamie M et al. (2007) Richness-productivity relationships between trophic levels in a detritus-based system: significance of abundance and trophic linkage. Oecologia 154:377-85
Kesavaraju, Banugopan; Alto, Barry W; Lounibos, L Philip et al. (2007) Behavioural responses of larval container mosquitoes to a size-selective predator. Ecol Entomol 32:262-272
Yee, Donald A; Juliano, Steven A (2007) Abundance matters: a field experiment testing the more individuals hypothesis for richness-productivity relationships. Oecologia 153:153-62

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