The association between meteorological variables and the abundance of Aedes taeniorhynchus in the Florida Keys



The black salt marsh mosquito, Aedes taeniorhynchus, is a serious nuisance pest and a potential vector of a number of arboviruses. This study examined the effect of wind direction, wind speed, temperature, and time of year on the abundance of Ae. taeniorhynchus collected in CO2-baited light traps at 12 sites in the Florida Keys during 2004. The dependent variable analyzed was the natural log of weekly mosquito abundance. The previous week's wind speed and wind direction, and the current week's temperature were used as independent variables. Simple and multiple linear regression models were used to assess the significance and nature of association between the meteorological variables and the natural log of mosquito abundance, and to determine whether the meteorological variables had significant associations with mosquito abundance after also controlling for time of year. Week of year was treated as a circular independent variable in the regression models, using the sine and cosine of week in radians to model the periodic seasonal fluctuation in mosquito abundance. Mosquito abundance was significantly associated with all meteorological variables and with week of year. Individually, previous week's wind speed and wind direction, and current week's temperature were able to explain respectively 24.5%, 24.5%, and 52.1% of the variation in mosquito abundance observed over the year. Week of year had the strongest individual association with mosquito abundance, explaining 65.7% of the variation in mosquito abundance. The meteorological variables were still significantly associated with mosquito abundance, after controlling for week of year. Week and the meteorological variables together explained 79.2% of the variation in mosquito abundance. The regression models fit to the data from this study suggest a strong periodic seasonal variation in mosquito abundance, with meteorological conditions explaining a significant portion of the variation beyond the seasonal trend.