Air versus water temperature of aquatic habitats in Delhi: Implications for transmission dynamics of Aedes aegypti

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Gaurav Kumar *
Veena Pande
Shweta Pasi
Vijay P. Ojha
Ramesh C. Dhiman
(*) Corresponding Author:
Gaurav Kumar | gauravnimr@gmail.com

Abstract

The present study was planned to characterize the microclimate experienced by Aedes larvae in different breeding habitats by determining the temperature variations in water kept in containers during different months under natural conditions. The study was conducted in three municipal zones of Delhi. In each site, four types of container material (plastic, cement, iron and ceramic) were chosen for recording the water temperature in the containers. Daily air and water temperatures (mean, maximum and minimum values) recorded by HOBO and Tidbit data loggers, respectively, were compared using analysis of variance and Tukey’s honest significant difference (HSD) tests. Mean monthly temperature of water varied from 16.9 to 33.0 °C in tin containers, 17.3 to 35.6°C in plastic containers, 14.3 to 28.5°C in ceramic pots, 23.3 to 30.4°C in cemented underground tanks (UGT) and 15.8 to 35.1°C in cemented overhead tanks (OHTs). Corresponding values for the air temperature ranged from 17.7 to 36.1°C. The difference between temperature of water in the containers and air temperature was highest for ceramic pots. Daily mean, maximum and minimum temperatures recorded by different data loggers differed significantly (P<0.05). When Tukey HSD test was applied for data analysis, the daily mean air temperature differed significantly from the water temperature in tin and ceramic pots as well as cemented OHTs. The temperature of water in the different breeding habitats investigated was lower than the air temperature. Moreover, actual air temperature as recorded by HOBO was higher than the temperature recorded by local weather stations. Considering the ongoing climate change, cemented UGT and earthen pots may be more productive breeding habitats for the Aedes mosquito in the near future, while plastic and cemented OHTs might no longer be suitable for Aedes breeding.


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