Date of Award

3-3-2015

Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

School of Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Steven A. Juliano

Abstract

In this dissertation I explore different ways that the environment impacts life history in mosquitoes in ways that may alter vectorial capacity. In chapter I, I tested if short-term sugar deprivation experienced after exposure to La Crosse virus altered infection rates in Aedes albopictus and if sugar treatment and virus infection status altered blood feeding behavior and fecundity. I found no evidence that sugar deprivation impacted infection rates or fecundity. Sugar deprivation did increase blood feeding. There was no effect of infection status on blood feeding or fecundity. In chapter II, I tested for effects of seasonal cues (temperature and photoperiod) experienced during larval development on Aedes triseriatus. I found reduced larval survivorship, reduced development rate, and smaller sizes when larvae were reared under warmer conditions with a shorter photoperiod. I found no effect of seasonal rearing temperatures on adult longevity and a significant size and treatment interaction for fecundity. In chapter III, I tested the effects of larval habitat age and prior habitat exploitation by a previous non-overlapping cohort of larvae on female larval survivorship, development rate, size and adult longevity. I found that larvae reared in older habitats had increased survivorship,

reduced development rate, and resulting adults had increased longevity. Prior exploitation significantly increased development rate only. In chapter IV, I investigated the impacts of larval habitat size and habitat drying on mosquito communities. I found that larval densities differed over time only in the smallest containers and that two weeks was sufficient for these communities to rebound to densities observed in stable volume habitats after they were completely dried and refilled. Predatory species density was not affected by habitat size or drying. Predator density did not affect prey density but did significantly decrease adult longevity which indicates negative trait-mediated effects of predation on prey species.

Comments

Imported from ProQuest Westby_ilstu_0092E_10450.pdf

Page Count

139

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