The Nedre Dalälven River Landscape in Central Sweden - a hot-spot for mosquito (Diptera:Culicidae) diversity

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2018
Authors:M. L. Schäfer, Wahlqvist, P., Lundström, J. O.
Journal:Journal of the European Mosquito Control Association
Date Published:16/10/18
Keywords:Europe, floodplains, mosquito diversity, mosquito species richness, River Dalälven, Sweden

Abstract: The floodplains of the River Dalälven, Central Sweden, have previously been known for enormous abundance of mosquitoes causing unbearable nuisance, but since mosquito control measures by Biologisk Myggkontroll (BMK) commenced in 2002, the area’s beautiful landscape and high biodiversity can be more appreciated. The floodplains are the central part of the UNESCO Nedre Dalälven River Landscape Biosphere Reserve as well as the location of various protected areas. The rich biodiversity also includes mosquitoes, although these insects are rarely considered in the study of biodiversity. We analysed mosquito data collected by the BMK surveillance program from 2001 until 2017 for species richness and assemblages of the mosquito fauna in the floodplains of the River Dalälven, and the nearby Creeks Vretaån and Kilsån. The mosquito species richness of the Nedre Dalälven River Landscape included 30 species in the present study, and three to eight species could potentially be added according to other studies, which then includes more than 70% of all known mosquito species in Sweden. The location of the floodplains at the Limes Norrlandicus, the border between southern and northern vegetation zones, is reflected in the mosquito fauna that includes species commonly found in Northern Sweden as well as more southern species. The mosquito species richness of the region is similar to the species richness observed in other floodplain areas in Central and Southern Europe. Hydrological conditions of the Lake basins of the River Dalälven floodplains varied from frequent flooding with high amplitude to almost no flooding. As expected, the hydrological variations were reflected in the mosquito assemblages, with high prevalence of floodwater mosquitoes in the flood-prone areas and more homogenous assemblages in the areas less subject to flooding. In conclusion, the River Dalälven floodplain area is considered a mosquito diversity hot-spot for Sweden and for Europe. Journal of the European Mosquito Control Association 36: 17-22, 2018

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