Impact on Mosquitos

Topics: Amphibian, Frog, Ecology Pages: 5 (1556 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Impact of amphibians on mosquitoes

It is important for every ecosystem to maintain a balance between all the food chains so that nature can maintain its balance. Although natural ecosystems are under diverse challenges from anthropogenic activities, the ecological impacts of such processes often are unclear. Some “threats” may be worse than we think, but others may be less harmful. For example, invasive species disrupt the functioning of important components of natural ecosystems in many ways, including predation, competition, and disease transfer. (Rolls 1969). Indeed, conventional wisdom interprets any change wrought by invasive taxa as negative, in that it alters an existing (“natural”) state. However, some changes wrought by invasive taxa might be seen as ‘‘good’’ in ecological terms, for example if they reduce the impact of a previous invader (e.g. Cactoblastis vs. prickly pear: Freeman 1992) or if the new invader fulfils an important ecological role (e.g. pollination, predation) previously performed by a now-extinct taxon (Flannery 1994; Donlan et al. 2005). Disease transfer agents are an immense threat to human health and pests are the most common disease transfer vectors. Mosquitoes are one of the most efficient and hazardous transfer vectors that pose a constant threat for human health as they grow rapidly in very unlikely conditions as well. Over recent years, in order to overcome this threat and to find a solution to this problem researchers and scientists have done serious work. If we are able to find out the reasons why and how mosquitoes survive, multiply and spread then we will be able to control their growth and limit the trouble they cause to both humans and wild life.

Although when research on such subjects undergoes, we tend to ignore the positive impacts of the invasive species and focus too much on their negative aspects whereas there can be some positive aspects that can prove beneficial for the society. To interpret the impact of these invasive species, we need to take into account all their aspects and implement studies on the multiplicity of factors. Any overall assessment of the impact of an invasive species needs to consider both the possible benefits (e.g. to human health) as well as negative effects (e.g. to native species).

The situation becomes far more complex if we include evaluations by the public as well as by professional ecologists. Ultimately, the decision that a given impact is ‘‘good’’ or ‘‘bad’’ is a subjective one, reflecting priorities and value systems that diverge widely among different sectors of the population. Therefore, it is important to conduct the experiments and researches to include and project both the aspects and then the influence and use of the invasive species. Here we have tried to include both the aspects of amphibians and their impacts on human health and pests.

Taking into account three research articles, cited in bibliography, we would try to understand the relation between amphibians, pests and human health. One of the natural factors that regulate the population of pests is predation by amphibians mostly. In these researches, we find that they have compared different species of amphibians and their role in controlling the growth and population size of mosquitoes specifically, as they have devised that mosquitoes are the major transfer vectors of diseases in humans. Sarah E. Durant and William A. Hopkins determined in their research the mosquito consumption of two amphibian species, adult red-spotted Newts (Notophthalmus viridescens (Rafinesque 1820)) and larval mole salamanders (Ambystoma talpoiduem (Holbrook 1838)).

They also compared the mosquito consumption of eastern mosquito fish (Gambusia halbrooki (Girard 1859)) a known predator of mosquitoes and A. Talpoideum. Both salamander species were capable of consuming large no. of mosquito larvae every day. In A. Talpoideum mosquito...
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