Volume 74, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Land use changes have been suggested as one of the causes for malaria epidemics in the African highlands. This study investigated the effects of deforestation-induced changes in indoor temperature on the survivorship and reproductive fitness of in an epidemic prone area in the western Kenya highlands. We found that the mean indoor temperatures of houses located in the deforested area were 1.2°C higher than in houses located in the forested area during the dry season and 0.7°C higher during the rainy season. The mosquito mortality rate was highly age-dependent regardless of study site or season. Mosquitoes that were placed in houses in the deforested area showed a 64.8–79.5% higher fecundity than those in houses located in the forested area, but the median survival time was reduced by 5–7 days. Female mosquitoes in the deforested area showed a 38.5–40.6% increase in net reproductive rate and an 11.6–42.9% increase in intrinsic growth rate than those in the forested area. Significant increases in net reproductive rate and intrinsic growth rate for mosquitoes in the deforested area suggest that deforestation enhances mosquito reproductive fitness, increasing mosquito population growth potential in the western Kenya highlands. The vectorial capacity of under study was estimated at least 106% and 29% higher in the deforested area than in the forested area in dry and rainy seasons, respectively.


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  • Received : 08 Aug 2005
  • Accepted : 11 Jan 2006

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