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The effect of pond dyes on mosquitoes and other freshwater invertebrates

Ortiz, N. O. (2018) The effect of pond dyes on mosquitoes and other freshwater invertebrates. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Freshwater habitats are important because they represent two percent of Earth’s water resources, are highly diverse in aquatic organisms and are the most productive and threatened ecosystem worldwide. Pollution, urbanization and climatic changes are responsible for drastic changes in these ecosystems. The creation of new ponds offers an opportunity to increase biodiversity, landscape connectivity and provide new habitat for organisms. However, new ponds might be a good habitat for mosquitoes to lay eggs. Mosquitoes have worldwide distribution and are responsible for most of the vector-borne diseases, affecting thousands of people and causing millions of deaths. British mosquitoes currently do not carry human diseases, but they are a biting nuisance. Their distribution, abundance, species composition and potential for mosquito disease transmission are intimately linked to the physical environment. Culex pipiens is commonly found in UK gardens and is a potential vector of viruses including the West Nile Virus. However, any environmental factors that significantly change the distribution and population of Cx. pipiens could impact future risks of disease transmission. Pond dyes are a cosmetic product for garden ponds and lakes; they inhibit algal growth and improve the overall appearance of the water body reflecting surrounding planting. The dyes block red light from entering the water, interrupting the process of photosynthesis and therefore inhibiting the growth of certain aquatic plants such as algae. Although these dyes are non-toxic to fish and invertebrates, their use in urban gardens raises questions linked to mosquito oviposition, since coloured water can be an attractant.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Callaghan, A.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Biological Sciences
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:77950

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