Larval mosquitoes in agricultural wetlands of the Gulf Coastal Plain of Georgia, U.S.A.
Botello, Gina Marie
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The expansion of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks has increased the need to determine how altered wetland conditions influence mosquito ecology. This research investigated the influence of selected landscape and environmental habitat variables, nutrient enrichment, and food resources on immature mosquito abundance, diversity, and species composition in agricultural wetlands of the Gulf Coastal Plain of Georgia, U.S.A. Results indicated that Anopheles quadrimaculatus, Culex erraticus, and Psorophora columbiae were indicator species of agricultural wetlands (LDI > 2.0), whereas Anopheles crucians and Culex territans were indicators of forested reference wetlands (LDI < 2.0). Nutrient enrichment influenced immature mosquito abundance, assemblage composition, and supported mosquitoes of medical concern. Wetland surveys and experimental results provide information on the value of using mosquitoes as bioindicators of wetland condition. Larval mosquitoes and potential food resources in agricultural wetlands had greater δ15N stable isotope values compared with cypress-gum swamps.