Suitability of European climate for the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus: recent trends and future scenarios

Cyril Caminade, Jolyon M. Medlock, Els Ducheyne, K. Marie McIntyre, Steve Leach, Matthew Baylis, Andrew P. Morse

Abstract

The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is an invasive species that has the potential to transmit infectious diseases such as dengue and chikungunya fever. Using high-resolution observations and regional climate model scenarios for the future, we investigated the suitability of Europe for A. albopictus using both recent climate and future climate conditions. The results show that southern France, northern Italy, the northern coast of Spain, the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea and western Turkey were climatically suitable areas for the establishment of the mosquito during the 1960–1980s. Over the last two decades, climate conditions have become more suitable for the mosquito over central northwestern Europe (Benelux, western Germany) and the Balkans, while they have become less suitable over southern Spain. Similar trends are likely in the future, with an increased risk simulated over northern Europe and slightly decreased risk over southern Europe. These distribution shifts are related to wetter and warmer conditions favouring the overwintering of A. albopictus in the north, and drier and warmer summers that might limit its southward expansion.

  • Received February 22, 2012.
  • Accepted April 5, 2012.
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