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Determinants of the current and future distribution of the West Nile virus mosquito vector Culex pipiens in Spain.

Gangoso, L; Aragonés, D; Martínez-de la Puente, J; Lucientes, J; Delacour-Estrella, S; Estrada Peña, R; Montalvo, T; Bueno-Marí, R; Bravo-Barriga, D; Frontera, E; Marqués, E; Ruiz-Arrondo, I; Muñoz, A; Oteo, J A; Miranda, M A; Barceló, C; Arias Vázquez, M S; Silva-Torres, M I; Ferraguti, M; Magallanes, S; Muriel, J; Marzal, A; Aranda, C; Ruiz, S; González, M A; Morchón, R; Gómez-Barroso, D; Figuerola, J.
Environ Res; 188: 109837, 2020 09.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32798954
Changes in environmental conditions, whether related or not to human activities, are continuously modifying the geographic distribution of vectors, which in turn affects the dynamics and distribution of vector-borne infectious diseases. Determining the main ecological drivers of vector distribution and how predicted changes in these drivers may alter their future distributions is therefore of major importance. However, the drivers of vector populations are largely specific to each vector species and region. Here, we identify the most important human-activity-related and bioclimatic predictors affecting the current distribution and habitat suitability of the mosquito Culex pipiens and potential future changes in its distribution in Spain. We determined the niche of occurrence (NOO) of the species, which considers only those areas lying within the range of suitable environmental conditions using presence data. Although almost ubiquitous, the distribution of Cx. pipiens is mostly explained by elevation and the degree of urbanization but also, to a lesser extent, by mean temperatures during the wettest season and temperature seasonality. The combination of these predictors highlights the existence of a heterogeneous pattern of habitat suitability, with most suitable areas located in the southern and northeastern coastal areas of Spain, and unsuitable areas located at higher altitude and in colder regions. Future climatic predictions indicate a net decrease in distribution of up to 29.55%, probably due to warming and greater temperature oscillations. Despite these predicted changes in vector distribution, their effects on the incidence of infectious diseases are, however, difficult to forecast since different processes such as local adaptation to temperature, vector-pathogen interactions, and human-derived changes in landscape may play important roles in shaping the future dynamics of pathogen transmission.