Reproductive phase locking of mosquito populations in response to rainfall frequency.


The frequency of moderate to heavy rainfall events is projected to change in response to global warming. Here we show that these hydrologic changes may have a profound effect on mosquito population dynamics and rates of mosquito-borne disease transmission. We develop a simple model, which treats the mosquito reproductive cycle as a phase oscillator that responds to rainfall frequency forcing. This model reproduces observed mosquito population dynamics and indicates that mosquito-borne disease transmission can be sensitive to rainfall frequency. These findings indicate that changes to the hydrologic cycle, in particular the frequency of moderate to heavy rainfall events, could have a profound effect on the transmission rates of some mosquito-borne diseases.

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