Predicting the distribution of three malaria vectors in southeast Asia using temperature and precipitation models


G Gadd1; G Thomas1
1 Swansea University, UK


Anthropogenic climate change continues to cause a rise in temperature and changes to global precipitation patterns, which in turn play a part in determining the range and distribution of insect disease vectors. This study uses previously published data and existing climate models based on temperature and precipitation rates to describe the current and predicted future distribution of three southeast Asian malaria vectors: Anopheles dirus, Anopheles minimus and Anopheles stephensi. Shapefiles of maps were overlaid into ArcGIS to show the current Anopheles distribution, whilst the MIROC6 climate model for the years 2081-2100 at a shared socio-economic pathway (SSP) of 585 was mapped as geotiff files to determine the predicted temperature and precipitation for southeast Asia. These maps were adjusted for optimal temperatures for vector survival and presented as the predicted geographical distribution for these three vector species. Interpretation of these maps suggest that these three mosquito species have the potential to shift their range northward into areas of South China as temperatures become more suitable. In southern areas of Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, conditions will become unsuitable for An. dirus and An. minimus, because of predicted rises in temperatures beyond the optimal for survival. Whilst numerous factors beyond the abiotic influence vector distribution, our findings demonstrate the sensitivity of malaria vectors to climatic changes, particularly temperature. Our results make predictions of where certain abiotic conditions will be suitable to support vector populations in the future, and can be used for estimating the future distribution of each individual species. Such information can then be experimentally verified, and could be useful for the monitoring and possible management of anophelinemosquitoes under near-future climate conditions. 

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