Trade-off between climatic and human population impacts on Aedes aegypti life history shapes its geographic distribution

Tarteel Abdalgader, Michael Pedersen, Dongsheng Ren, Lai Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The annual death statistics due to vector-borne diseases transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes cause a still growing concern for the public health in the affected regions. An improved understanding of how climatic and population changes impact the spread of Aedes aegypti will help estimate the future populations exposure and vulnerability, and is essential to the improvement of public health preparedness. We apply an empirically well-investigated process-based mathematical model based on the life cycle of the mosquito to assess how climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP)) and socioeconomic scenarios (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP)) will affect the growth and potential distribution of this mosquito in China. Our results show that the risk area will expand considerably, increasing up to 21.46% and 24.75% of China’s land area in 2050 and 2070, respectively, and the new added area lies mainly in the east and center of China. The population in the risk area grows substantially up to 2050 and then drops down steadily. 28 However, these changes vary noticeably among different combinations between RCPs and SSPs with the RCP2.6*SSP4 yielding the most favorable scenario in 2070, representing approximately 14.11% of China’s land area and 113 cities at risk, which is slightly lower compared to 2019. Our results further reveal that there is a significant trade-off between climatic and human population impacts on the spreading of Aedes aegypti, possibly leading to an overestimation (underestimation)
33 in sparsely (densely) populated areas if the populations impact on the mosquito’s life history is unaccounted for. These results suggest that both climate and population changes are crucial factors in the formation of the populations exposure to Aedes-borne virus transmission in China, however, a reduced population growth rate may slow down the spread of this mosquito by effectively
37 counteracting the climate warming impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110987
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Vector-borne disease
  • Representative concentration
  • Socioeconomic pathways


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