Jun 30, 2012

Anthropogenic habitat disturbance and ecological divergence between incipient species of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae

PloS One
Colince KamdemCarlo Costantini

Abstract

Anthropogenic habitat disturbance is a prime cause in the current trend of the Earth's reduction in biodiversity. Here we show that the human footprint on the Central African rainforest, which is resulting in deforestation and growth of densely populated urban agglomerates, is associated to ecological divergence and cryptic speciation leading to adaptive radiation within the major malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. In southern Cameroon, the frequency of two molecular forms--M and S--among which reproductive isolation is strong but still incomplete, was correlated to an index of urbanisation extracted from remotely sensed data, expressed as the proportion of built-up surface in each sampling unit. The two forms markedly segregated along an urbanisation gradient forming a bimodal cline of ∼6-km width: the S form was exclusive to the rural habitat, whereas only the M form was present in the core of densely urbanised settings, co-occurring at times in the same polluted larval habitats of the southern house mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus--a species association that was not historically recorded before. Our results indicate that when humans create novel habitats and ecological heterogeneities, they can provide evolutionary opportun...Continue Reading

  • References48
  • Citations44

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Genetic Drift
Fluctuation
Morbidity Aspects
CFC1 gene
Dipping - Examination
Culex quinquefasciatus
Acclimatization
DNA, Ribosomal
Larva
Malaria

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