Biodiversity Research Study On Mosquitoes
The organism I have chosen to focus my research study on is Mosquitos. The taxonomic classification of the mosquito is as follows; It’s domain is Eukaryotic, it’s kingdom is Animalia and its phylum is Arthropoda. Mosquitoes have been around for over 100 million years. They act as carries of many different harmful diseases that could potentially be fatal to humans.
All animals serve a significant purpose in the food chain. If certain species go extinct, it affects many other animals in the food chain that depended on that species to survive. The mosquito going extinct would impact the lives of many species, specifically birds, because of its place on the food chain. There are approximately 3, 500 different species of mosquitos with only 200 that actually bite/ can be harmful to humans. Mosquitos also have a large effect on human health. When a mosquito that is carrying a disease bites a human, the disease that it will transmit to the human can cause sickness and in very severe cases death. Common diseases that these mosquitos may carry include Malaria, the Zika Virus, West Nile Virus, St. Louis encephalitis, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and many more. The main focus for this study, as well as the more common ones, are the Zika virus and Malaria. The Zika Virus effects pregnant women the most. If bitten it can cause birth defects and other pregnancy issues. Malaria is a disease than can potentially be fatal to humans. Most cases will include high fevers, shaking chills and other flu-like symptoms.
Climate change and global warming is also impacting the harm that these mosquitos carry and their effect on biodiversity. Mosquitos love the warm climate so with global warming beginning to occur the mosquitos are more likely to be able to survive and reproduce, thus making the risk of being bitten by a diseased mosquito even greater. Monoculture crops play a large role in the life of my species. Monoculturing is when farmers only grow one specific food or plant in a large area. If the mosquito feeds off of a specific crop and there is a monoculture of that crop, they will have almost an unlimited supply of that food source. Because they have this large source of food they will be able to ensure a longer lasting life which means they will be able to reproduce more frequently. Thus greatening the risk of these viruses being transferred to humans.
Finally, my species can be effected by insecticides, as mosquitos are insects. Insecticides are used in order to eliminate insects and are mainly used on large crops. This was created by humans in order to keep their crops healthy and are from these harmful insects, therefore it is beneficial towards human. Also if these mosquitos are being killed they are not able to reproduce meaning their population will decrease and there is less of a risk for humans to be harmed. This can however be a negative effect because the insecticide does not last forever. Overtime, if the same insecticide is being used the species will evolve to adapt to it and be able to survive it/ fight it off. Using different types of insecticides in order to eliminate them could work, but it will not work for a long period of time and will not permanently get rid of them. Furthermore, by using multiple different insecticides it will begin to damage the soil which overall will damage and effect the growth of these crop. There are many negative effects with minimal solutions when it comes to insecticides.
To conclude, mosquitos have been around for a very long time and do have an effect on biodiversity. They have the potential to effect the health of humans as well as the crops and plants, However many species depend on their existence to survive. As they do have many negative impacts on biodiversity, they still have positive effects and can sometimes be very useful to the environment.