VectorNet Data Series 3: Culicoides Abundance Distribution Models for Europe and Surrounding Regions

Introduction/Study Description VectorNet [1] is a joint initiative of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which started in May 2014. The project supports the collection of distribution data on tick, sandfly, mosquito and Culicoides midge vectors, related to both animal and human health. While VectorNet and its predecessor VBORNET [2] have made substantial progress collating European data on key vector species, the coverage is still incomplete. The ‘Gap Analysis’ work within these projects aims to identify those areas of likely species distribution within the project extent where there are no current data. These estimates were produced throughout the project and were intended to meet two objectives: firstly to help direct extensive VectorNet sampling efforts in the field, and secondly to provide first indications of the current likely extent and distribution of key vector species within continental Europe and its surrounding regions. The models provided here are the latest iteration using the distribution data available at the end of 2018. It is hoped that publishing these models will aid experts to engage the more extensive research and professional community in the drive to expand and validate the VectorNet database, and will also contribute to the veterinary and public health planning for Europe and its neighbouring countries. Readers are encouraged to contact the authors or visit the VectorNet website [1] for further details of the project, and to view distribution maps of arthropod disease vectors of midges, ticks, mosquitos, and sandflies. For each model, abundance maps with a resolution of 1 km were generated using both Boosted regression trees and Random Forest spatial modelling techniques available through the VECMAP [3] system. The outputs from each technique were ensembled to create a ‘consensus’ output of Ln Maximum Annual number per trap per day.
Publication history: Published online - 16 September
VECTORNET, Midges, Culicoides, species, distribution, Boosted Regression Trees, Random Forest, Model ensembles
Balenghien, T., Alexander, N., Arnþórsdóttir, A. L., Bisia, M., Blackwell, A., Bødker, R., Bourquia, M., Boutsini, S., Carpenter, S., Colenutt, C., Culverwell, L., Cvetkovikj, A., Dascălu, L., De Regge, N., Dhollander, S., Elbers, A., England, M., Filatov, S., Garros, C., Goffredo, M., Haddad, N., Høye, T. T., Hristescu, D., Khallaayoune, K., Kočišová, A., Larska, M., Lucientes, J., Mathieu, B., Miranda, M. A., Murchie, A., Nițescu, C., Ozoliņa, Z., da Fonseca, I. P., Petrić, D., Pudar, D., Ramilo, D., Richardson, J., Seglina, Z., Sghaier, S., Stefanovska, J., Stougiou, D., Sviland, S., Tchakarova, S., Van Bortel, W., Castello, M. V., Veronesi, E., Versteirt, V. and Wint, W. G. R. (2020) ‘VectorNet Data Series 3: Culicoides Abundance Distribution Models for Europe and Surrounding Regions’, Open Health Data. Ubiquity Press, Ltd., 7. doi: 10.5334/ohd.33.