Identifying Mosquito Habitat Microtopography in an Australian Mangrove Forest Using LiDAR Derived Elevation Data
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We aimed to identify microtopographical variation within a mangrove system in Southeast Queensland, Australia, at a detailed scale relevant to mapping immature mosquito habitat structure. Until recently, a lack of high-resolution elevation data has prevented detailed analysis of microtopography. This study used a LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) digital elevation model to identify microtopography within the mangrove system. There were two basin types, based on elevation relative to the average basin elevation (ABE). Elevation was measured in 10 m segments on transects. The segments were classified into prime and sub-prime habitats based on their suitability for immature mosquitoes: prime habitats were higher than the ABE, and sub-prime habitats were lower than the ABE. The coefficients of variation and elevation ranges gave a measure of microtopographic variability and the analysis showed that the two habitat types differed significantly both in mean elevation and microtopographic variability. This was related to conditions necessary for immature mosquito success. The use of LiDAR for mapping microtopography within mangrove forests demonstrated in this study has potential application in mosquito management, as microtopography appears to be a critical factor for suitable immature mosquito habitat and a better understanding of this may help managers to mitigate mosquito-borne disease.
Natural Resource Management