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15 April 2023 Ensemble species distribution modeling of Culex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) in the continental United States
Charlotte G. Rhodes, Luis F. Chaves, Luke R. Bergmann, Gabriel L. Hamer
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Abstract

West Nile virus (WNV) is the primary mosquito-borne disease in the United States and has had case reports every year since its introduction in 1999. As such, it is critical that we characterize the distribution of WNV vectors. Estimates of Culex tarsalis Coquillett species distribution, a major WNV vector, are scarce. We used ensemble distribution modeling to estimate habitat suitability for this species across the contiguous United States by consolidating presence data from four publicly available mosquito trapping data servers.The central plains region and much of the western US were estimated to have high habitat suitability. We identified multiple metrics of temperature and precipitation to be important in predicting the occurrence of Cx. tarsalis in a given geographic area. Furthermore, we observed habitat suitability for Cx. tarsalis to be significantly higher in areas with a high incidence of West Nile neuroinvasive disease compared to areas with low WN disease incidence, suggesting that Cx. tarsalis is present in regions with a high incidence of disease.

Charlotte G. Rhodes, Luis F. Chaves, Luke R. Bergmann, and Gabriel L. Hamer "Ensemble species distribution modeling of Culex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) in the continental United States," Journal of Medical Entomology 60(4), 664-679, (15 April 2023). https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjad027
Received: 29 August 2022; Accepted: 3 March 2023; Published: 15 April 2023
JOURNAL ARTICLE
16 PAGES

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KEYWORDS
Culex tarsalis
Google Earth Engine
machine learning
NDVI
West Nile virus
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