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The portfolio effect cushions mosquito populations and malaria transmission against vector control interventions.

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Killeen, Gerry ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8583-8739 and Reed, Thomas E (2018) 'The portfolio effect cushions mosquito populations and malaria transmission against vector control interventions.'. Malaria Journal, Vol 17, Issue 1, p. 291.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND
Portfolio effects were first described as a basis for mitigating against financial risk by diversifying investments. Distributing investment across several different assets can stabilize returns and reduce risks by statistical averaging of individual asset dynamics that often correlate weakly or negatively with each other. The same simple probability theory is equally applicable to complex ecosystems, in which biological and environmental diversity stabilizes ecosystems against natural and human-mediated perturbations. Given the fundamental limitations to how well the full complexity of ecosystem dynamics can be understood or anticipated, the portfolio effect concept provides a simple framework for more critical data interpretation and pro-active conservation management. Applied to conservation ecology purposes, the portfolio effect concept informs management strategies emphasizing identification and maintenance of key ecological processes that generate complexity, diversity and resilience against inevitable, often unpredictable perturbations.

IMPLICATIONS
Applied to the reciprocal goal of eliminating the least valued elements of global biodiversity, specifically lethal malaria parasites and their vector mosquitoes, simply understanding the portfolio effect concept informs more cautious interpretation of surveillance data and simulation model predictions. Malaria transmission mediated by guilds of multiple vectors in complex landscapes, with highly variable climatic and meteorological conditions, as well as changing patterns of land use and other human behaviours, will systematically tend to be more resilient to attack with vector control than it appears based on even the highest quality surveillance data or predictive models.

CONCLUSION
Malaria vector control programmes may need to be more ambitious, interpret their short-to-medium term assessments of intervention impact more cautiously, and manage stakeholder expectations more conservatively than has often been the case thus far.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Protozoa > QX 135 Plasmodia
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 515 Anopheles
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 600 Insect control. Tick control
WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 110 Prevention and control of communicable diseases. Transmission of infectious diseases
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 680 Tropical diseases (General)
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 765 Prevention and control
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-018-2441-z
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2018 08:28
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2019 10:12
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/9111

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