Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are two important mosquito species which transmit various infectious arbovirus diseases represented mainly by dengue fever. These two species of mosquito have a wide range of distribution and strong transfer capacity. With ongoing global climate change, we are facing an increasing public health threat from the rapid spread of vectors in wider geographical areas. Based on observed occurrence records of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus and high-resolution environmental layers reflecting climate and land-use conditions, a Maxent niche modeling approach was adopted to model the current and future distribution of both species in Mainland China. Our models provide predictions of suitable habitat shifts under future climate scenarios up to the 2050s. Both species were predicted to expand their niche range to varying degrees under future climate scenarios. Aedes aegypti was modeled to expand its habitat from Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan and Hainan to Fujian, Jiangxi and Guizhou. Aedes albopictus was modeled to increase magnitude of distribution within its present range of northern, southwestern and southeastern coastal areas of Mainland China. Area and population exposed to mosquitoes are predicted to increase significantly. Environmental variables that have significant impact on the distribution of mosquitoes are also revealed by our model. The results of our study can be referenced in further ecological studies and will guide the development of strategies for the prevention and control of mosquito-borne diseases.
Keywords: Aedes aegypti; Aedes albopictus; Ecological niche model; Future climate change; Vector-borne diseases.
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