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1 May 2011 The Potential of Cladocerans as Controphic Competitors of the Mosquito Culex pipiens
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This study assesses the potential of cladocerans as competitors for controlling the oviposition and larval abundances of mosquitoes. Control of mosquito larvae involving the use of antagonists has focused mostly on predators. We hypothesized that cladoceran competitors have a strong potential to control larval populations of some species of mosquitoes that can be early colonizers of newly-filled waterbodies, and should be less efficient competitors. To test this hypothesis, the establishment and development of larval populations of wild Culex pipiens were investigated in outdoor microcosms varying in terms of Daphnia magna populations. When the population was well established (i.e., high densities of D. magna), oviposition was fully inhibited and there was consequently no mosquito larvae. When the population was more recently established (i.e., lower densities of D. magna), oviposition and larval development of Cx. pipiens occurred. In the absence of D. magna, oviposition, larval biomass, and abundance of Cx. pipiens reached high values. In this situation, conspecifics were inhibiting further oviposition of Cx. pipiens. Based on these results, we suggest that competing Zooplankton species, such as D. magna, could be used for the control of mosquito species such as Cx. pipiens. This approach could be beneficial for the management of wetlands.

© 2011 Entomological Society of America
Sabine Duquesne, Iris Kroeger, Magdalene Kutyniok, and Matthias Liess "The Potential of Cladocerans as Controphic Competitors of the Mosquito Culex pipiens," Journal of Medical Entomology 48(3), 554-560, (1 May 2011).
Received: 24 November 2009; Accepted: 1 November 2010; Published: 1 May 2011

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