Modelling the regional impact of climate change on the suitability of the establishment of the Asian tiger mosquito ( Aedes albopictus ) in Serbia


The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is one of the world’s most dangerous invasive species. It has vector competence for a wide range of arboviruses such as chikungunya, dengue, Zika and Rift Valley fever viruses. The vector originated in Asia but has recently spread to the temperate regions of Europe and North America. Further spread to the north and the east and a shift to higher altitudes could be expected as a result of climate change. This makes modelling the regional climatic suitability for the establishment of A. albopictus in naïve regions a pressing issue. The future suitability and subsequent seasonal activity of the vector were investigated using three mechanistic models, with climatic data from the Eta Belgrade University-Princeton Ocean Model regional climate model. The results showed that after a slight decrease in suitability for the first part of the century, most of Serbia would become significantly more suitable for the establishment of A. albopictus. This is due to the simulated rise in seasonal and annual temperatures by the end of the twenty-first century. This study allows for the incorporation of regional heterogeneity in vector modelling. The spatial resolution of the maps obtained from a regional analysis is much higher than that acquired by a global model, allowing for detailed risk assessment and planning of surveillance focused on the habitats where the main introduction routes and climatic suitability are coupled. This work should be applied to all countries in the region with the risk of introduction or further spread of A. albopictus.

Comments are closed.