Habitat suitability modelling to assess the introductions of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Netherlands
Ibáñez-Justicia, Adolfo; Alcaraz-Hernández, Juan Diego; Lammeren, Ron van; Koenraadt, Constantianus J.M.; Bergsma, Aldo; Delucchi, Luca; Rizzoli, Annapaola; Takken, Willem
BACKGROUND: In the Netherlands, Aedes albopictus has been found each year since 2010 during routine exotic mosquito species surveillance at companies that import used tires. We developed habitat suitability models to investigate the potential risk of establishment and spread of this invasive species at these locations. METHODS: We used two methodologies: first, a species distribution model based on the maximum entropy modelling approach (MaxEnt) taking into consideration updated occurrence data of the species in Europe, and secondly, a spatial logic conditional model based on the temperature requirements of the species and using land surface temperature data (LST model). RESULTS: Suitability assessment obtained with the MaxEnt model at European level accurately reflect the current distribution of the species and these results also depict moderately low values in parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, the British islands and southern parts of Scandinavia. Winter temperature was the variable that contributed most to the performance of the model (47.3%). The results of the LST model showed that: (i) coastal areas are suitable for overwintering of eggs; (ii) large areas in the northern part of the country have a low suitability for adult survival; and (iii) the entire country is suitable for successful completion of the life-cycle if the species is introduced after the winter months. Results of the LST model revealed that temperatures in 2012 and 2014 did not limit the overwintering of eggs or survival of adults at the locations where the species was found. By contrast, for the years 2010, 2011 and 2013, overwintering of eggs at these locations is considered unlikely. CONCLUSIONS: Results using two modelling methodologies show differences in predicted habitat suitability values. Based on the results of both models, the climatic conditions could hamper the successful overwintering of eggs of Ae. albopictus and their survival as adults in many areas of the country. However, during warm years with mild winters, many areas of the Netherlands offer climatic conditions suitable for developing populations. Regular updates of the models, using updated occurrence and climatic data, are recommended to study the areas at risk.