Effect of desiccation on mosquito oviposition site selection in Mediterranean temporary habitats

Claire Duchet, Shomen Mukherjee, Meital Stein, Matthew Spencer, Leon Blaustein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. Hydroperiod duration has been identified as the main factor determining the faunal composition and structure of aquatic communities in temporary habitats. It is hypothesised that desiccation will positively affect mosquito oviposition habitat selection during the post-drought period due to the lack of antagonists. 2. An experiment was carried out in outdoor mesocosms to assess whether desiccation events have post-drought effects on community richness and mosquito oviposition. Three different treatments were randomly assigned to the mesocosms: (i) eight mesocosms were left dried for a week and then reflooded; (ii) eight mesocosms stayed dry for 4 weeks before they were reflooded; (iii) eight mesocosms were maintained at a constant water volume of 30 litres during the entire experiment as controls. Mosquito oviposition and invertebrate community richness were monitored in every mesocosm, along with environmental parameters [water temperature, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, total suspended solids (TSS) and chlorophyll a concentration]. 3. Post-drought mosquito oviposition and larval abundance were higher in the short-drought and long-drought pools than in the control. Desiccation negatively affected the biomass of the filter feeder invertebrates in both desiccation treatments. Chlorophyll a concentrations were higher in the long-drought pools than in controls. The negative impact of desiccation on zooplankton led to a post-drought increase in algae, associated with an increase in mosquito oviposition. 4. Despite immediate negative effect on mosquitoes, pulsed disturbances can benefit mosquitoes as they favour oviposition during the post-disturbance recovery period due to a lower abundance of mosquito antagonists and higher food resources for their offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-513
Number of pages16
JournalEcological Entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Royal Entomological Society


  • Community interactions
  • drought disturbance
  • ephemeral pools
  • mosquito dynamics
  • oviposition habitat selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of desiccation on mosquito oviposition site selection in Mediterranean temporary habitats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this