We engaged in field studies of native mosquitoes in a Cambridgeshire Fen, investigating a) the habitat specificity and seasonal dynamics of our native fauna in an intensively managed wetland, b) the impact of water-level and ditch management, and c) their colonization of an arable reversion to flooded grassland wetland expansion project. Studies from April to October, 2010 collected 14,000 adult mosquitoes (15 species) over 292 trap-nights and ∼4,000 pre-imaginal mosquitoes (11 species). Open floodwater species (Aedes caspius and Aedes cinereus, 43.3%) and wet woodland species (Aedes cantans/annulipes and Aedes rusticus, 32.4%) dominated, highlighting the major impact of seasonal water-level management on mosquito populations in an intensively managed wetland. In permanent habitats, managing marginal ditch vegetation and ditch drying significantly affect densities of pre-imaginal anophelines and culicines, respectively. This study presents the first UK field evidence of the implications of wetland expansion through arable reversion on mosquito colonization. Understanding the heterogeneity of mosquito diversity, phenology, and abundance in intensively managed UK wetlands will be crucial to mitigating nuisance and vector species through habitat management and biocidal control.
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Vol. 40 • No. 1