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      Effects of landscape anthropization on mosquito community composition and abundance

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          Abstract

          Anthropogenic landscape transformation has an important effect on vector-borne pathogen transmission. However, the effects of urbanization on mosquito communities are still only poorly known. Here, we evaluate how land-use characteristics are related to the abundance and community composition of mosquitoes in an area with endemic circulation of numerous mosquito-borne pathogens. We collected 340 829 female mosquitoes belonging to 13 species at 45 localities spatially grouped in 15 trios formed by 1 urban, 1 rural and 1 natural area. Mosquito abundance and species richness were greater in natural and rural areas than in urban areas. Environmental factors including land use, vegetation and hydrological characteristics were related to mosquito abundance and community composition. Given the differing competences of each species in pathogen transmission, these results provide valuable information on the transmission potential of mosquito-borne pathogens that will be of great use in public and animal health management by allowing, for instance, the identification of the priority areas for pathogen surveillance and vector control.

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          Most cited references 36

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          Global trends in emerging infectious diseases

          The next new disease Emerging infectious diseases are a major threat to health: AIDS, SARS, drug-resistant bacteria and Ebola virus are among the more recent examples. By identifying emerging disease 'hotspots', the thinking goes, it should be possible to spot health risks at an early stage and prepare containment strategies. An analysis of over 300 examples of disease emerging between 1940 and 2004 suggests that these hotspots can be accurately mapped based on socio-economic, environmental and ecological factors. The data show that the surveillance effort, and much current research spending, is concentrated in developed economies, yet the risk maps point to developing countries as the more likely source of new diseases. Supplementary information The online version of this article (doi:10.1038/nature06536) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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            From patterns to emerging processes in mechanistic urban ecology.

            Rapid urbanization has become an area of crucial concern in conservation owing to the radical changes in habitat structure and loss of species engendered by urban and suburban development. Here, we draw on recent mechanistic ecological studies to argue that, in addition to altered habitat structure, three major processes contribute to the patterns of reduced species diversity and elevated abundance of many species in urban environments. These activities, in turn, lead to changes in animal behavior, morphology and genetics, as well as in selection pressures on animals and plants. Thus, the key to understanding urban patterns is to balance studying processes at the individual level with an integrated examination of environmental forces at the ecosystem scale.
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              Random forests for classification in ecology.

              Classification procedures are some of the most widely used statistical methods in ecology. Random forests (RF) is a new and powerful statistical classifier that is well established in other disciplines but is relatively unknown in ecology. Advantages of RF compared to other statistical classifiers include (1) very high classification accuracy; (2) a novel method of determining variable importance; (3) ability to model complex interactions among predictor variables; (4) flexibility to perform several types of statistical data analysis, including regression, classification, survival analysis, and unsupervised learning; and (5) an algorithm for imputing missing values. We compared the accuracies of RF and four other commonly used statistical classifiers using data on invasive plant species presence in Lava Beds National Monument, California, USA, rare lichen species presence in the Pacific Northwest, USA, and nest sites for cavity nesting birds in the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA. We observed high classification accuracy in all applications as measured by cross-validation and, in the case of the lichen data, by independent test data, when comparing RF to other common classification methods. We also observed that the variables that RF identified as most important for classifying invasive plant species coincided with expectations based on the literature.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group
                2045-2322
                04 July 2016
                2016
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Estación Biológica de Doñana (EBD-CSIC) , Seville, Spain
                [2 ]CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP) , Spain
                [3 ]Diputación de Huelva, Área de Medio Ambiente, Servicio de Control de Mosquitos , Huelva, Spain
                Author notes
                [*]

                Present address: Infectious Diseases and Vectors: Ecology, Genetics, Evolution and Control, IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement), Montpellier, France.

                Article
                srep29002
                10.1038/srep29002
                4931447
                27373794
                Copyright © 2016, Macmillan Publishers Limited

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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