Fine scale spatial urban land cover factors associated with adult mosquito abundance and risk in Tucson, Arizona

Katheryn I. Landau, Willem J.D. van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


It is currently unclear what role microhabitat land cover plays in determining the seasonal spatial distribution of Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus, disease vectors of dengue and West Nile Virus, respectively, in Tucson, AZ. We compared mosquito abundance to sixteen land cover variables derived from 2010 NAIP multispectral data and 2008 LiDAR height data. Mosquitoes were trapped with 30-9 traps from May to October of 2010 and 2011. Variables were extracted for five buffer zones (10-50 m radii at 10 m intervals) around trapping sites. Stepwise regression was performed to determine the best scale for observation and the influential land cover variables. The 30 m radius buffer was determined to be the best for observing the land cover-mosquito abundance relationship. Ae. aegypti presence was positively associated with structure and medium height trees and negatively associated with bare earth; Cx. quinquefasciatus presence was positively associated with pavement and medium height trees and negatively associated with shrubs. These findings emphasize vegetation, impervious surfaces, and soil influences on mosquito presence in an urban setting. Lastly, the land cover-mosquito abundance relationships were used to produce risk maps of seasonal presence that highlight high risk areas in Tucson, which may be useful for focusing mosquito control program actions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-418
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Vector Ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012



  • Aedes aegypti
  • Arizona
  • Culex quinquefasciatus
  • Land cover
  • Mosquito abundance
  • Seasonal presence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

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