TitleHow Do Trait-Mediated Non-lethal Effects of Predation Affect Population-Level Performance of Mosquitoes?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsChandrasegaran K, Juliano SA
JournalFront Ecol Evol
Date Published2019 Feb

Non-lethal, trait-mediated effects of predation impact prey behavior and life-history traits. Studying how these effects in turn influence prey demography is crucial to understand prey life-history evolution. Mosquitoes are important vectors that claim several million lives every year worldwide by transmitting a range of pathogens. Several ecological factors affect life-history traits of both larval and adult mosquitoes, creating effects that cascade to population-level consequences. Few studies have comprehensively explored the non-lethal effects of predation and its interactions with resources and competition on larval, adult, and population traits of mosquitoes. Understanding these interactions is important because the effects of predation are hypothesized to rescue prey populations from the effects of density-dependence resulting from larval competition. larvae reared at two different larval densities and subjected to three non-lethal predator treatments were monitored for survival, development time, and adult size through the larval stages to adult eclosion, and adult females were monitored for survival and reproduction through their first gonotrophic cycle. Intraspecific competition increased larval development time, yielded small-bodied adults, and reduced fecundity in individuals exposed to predatory chemical cues as larvae. Exposure to cues from a living predator affected both body size and latency to blood feed in females. Analysis of life-table traits revealed significant effects of competition on net reproductive rate () of mosquitoes. The interaction between competition and predator treatments significantly affected the cohort rate of increase () and the index of performance ('). The index of performance, which estimates rate of population change based on the size-fecundity relationship, was significantly and positively correlated with , but overestimated slightly. Lack of significant effect of predator treatments and larval density on cohort generation time () further suggests that the observed effects of treatments on and were largely a consequence of the effects on . Also, the significant effects of treatment combinations on larval development time, adult body size and fecundity were ultimately manifested as effects on life-table traits estimated from adult survival and reproduction.

Alternate JournalFront Ecol Evol
PubMed ID31218216
PubMed Central IDPMC6583812
Grant ListR15 AI094322 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
R15 AI124005 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States