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A Bayesian geostatistical Moran curve model for estimating net changes of Tsetse populations in Zambia

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Luigi Sedda
  • Cornelius Mweempwa
  • Els Ducheyne
  • Claudia De Pus
  • Guy Hendrickx
  • David J. Rogers
Article number96002
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>22/04/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>PLoS ONE
Issue number4
Number of pages8
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


For the first time a Bayesian geostatistical version of the Moran Curve, a logarithmic form of the Ricker stock recruitment curve, is proposed that is able to give an estimate of net change in population demographic rates considering components such as fertility and density dependent and density independent mortalities. The method is applied to spatio-temporally referenced count data of tsetse flies obtained from fly-rounds. The model is a linear regression with three components: population rate of change estimated from the Moran curve, an explicit spatio-temporal covariance, and the observation error optimised within a Bayesian framework. The model was applied to the three main climate seasons of Zambia (rainy January to April, cold-dry-May to August, and hot-dry-September to December) taking into account land surface temperature and (seasonally changing) cattle distribution. The model shows a maximum positive net change during the hot-dry season and a minimum between the rainy and cold-dry seasons. Density independent losses are correlated positively with day-time land surface temperature and negatively with night-time land surface temperature and cattle distribution. The inclusion of density dependent mortality increases considerably the goodness of fit of the model. Cross validation with an independent dataset taken from the same area resulted in a very accurate estimate of tsetse catches. In general, the overall framework provides an important tool for vector control and eradication by identifying vector population concentrations and local vector demographic rates. It can also be applied to the case of sustainable harvesting of natural populations.