Community analysis of the abundance and diversity of biting midge species (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in three European countries at different latitudes
Möhlmann, Tim W.R. ; Wennergren, Uno ; Tälle, Malin ; Favia, Guido ; Damiani, Claudia ; Bracchetti, Luca ; Takken, Willem ; Koenraadt, Constantianus J.M. - \ 2018
Parasites & Vectors 11 (2018). - ISSN 1756-3305
Community ecology - Culicoides - Midge sampling - OVI trap - Species diversity
Background: The outbreaks of bluetongue and Schmallenberg disease in Europe have increased efforts to understand the ecology of Culicoides biting midges and their role in pathogen transmission. However, most studies have focused on a specific habitat, region, or country. To facilitate wider comparisons, and to obtain a better understanding of the spread of disease through Europe, the present study focused on monitoring biting midge species diversity in three different habitat types and three countries across Europe. Methods: Biting midges were trapped using Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute light traps at a total of 27 locations in Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy, comprising farm, peri-urban and wetland habitats. From July 2014 to June 2015 all locations were sampled monthly, except for during the winter months. Trapped midges were counted and identified morphologically. Indices on species richness, evenness and diversity were calculated. Community compositions were analysed using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) techniques. Results: A total of 50,085 female midges were trapped during 442 collection nights. More than 88% of these belonged to the Obsoletus group. The highest midge diversity was found in Sweden, while species richness was highest in the Netherlands, and most specimens were trapped in Italy. For habitats within countries, diversity of the trapped midges was lowest for farms in all countries. Differences in biting midge species communities were more distinct across the three countries than the three habitat types. Conclusions: A core midge community could be identified, in which the Obsoletus group was the most abundant. Variations in vector communities across countries imply different patterns of disease spread throughout Europe. How specific species and their associated communities affect disease risk is still unclear. Our results emphasize the importance of midge diversity data at community level, how this differs across large geographic range within Europe, and its implications on assessing risks of midge-borne disease outbreaks.
Community analysis of the abundance and diversity of mosquito species (Diptera : Culicidae) in three European countries at different latitudes
Mohlmann, Tim W.R. ; Wennergren, Uno ; Tälle, Malin ; Favia, Guido ; Damiani, Claudia ; Bracchetti, Luca ; Koenraadt, Constantianus J.M. - \ 2017
Parasites & Vectors 10 (2017). - ISSN 1756-3305 - 12 p.
Community composition - Disease vectors - Host-seeking behaviour - Non-metric multidimensional scaling - Vector surveillance - 017-4051
Background: Studies on mosquito species diversity in Europe often focus on a specific habitat, region or country. Moreover, different trap types are used for these sampling studies, making it difficult to compare and validate results across Europe. To facilitate comparisons of trapping sites and community analysis, the present study used two trap types for monitoring mosquito species diversity in three habitat types for three different countries in Europe. Methods: Mosquitoes were trapped using Biogents Sentinel (BGS), and Mosquito Magnet Liberty Plus (MMLP) traps at a total of 27 locations in Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy, comprising farm, peri-urban and wetland habitats. From July 2014 to June 2015 all locations were sampled monthly, except for the winter months. Indices of species richness, evenness and diversity were calculated, and community analyses were carried out with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) techniques. Results: A total of 11,745 female mosquitoes were trapped during 887 collections. More than 90% of the mosquitoes belonged to the genera Culex and Aedes, with Culex pipiens being the most abundant species. The highest mosquito diversity was found in Sweden. Within Sweden, species diversity was highest in wetland habitats, whereas in the Netherlands and Italy this was highest at farms. The NMDS analyses showed clear differences in mosquito communities among countries, but not among habitat types. The MMLP trapped a higher diversity of mosquito species than the BGS traps. Also, MMLP traps trapped higher numbers of mosquitoes, except for the genera Culex and Culiseta in Italy. Conclusions: A core mosquito community could be identified for the three countries, with Culex pipiens as the most abundant species. Differences in mosquito species communities were more defined by the three countries included in the study than by the three habitat types. Differences in mosquito community composition across countries may have implications for disease emergence and further spread throughout Europe. Future research should, therefore, focus on how field data of vector communities can be incorporated into models, to better assess the risk of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks.