VENTOMO: Study of the vertical distribution of Culicoides in the lower troposphere to improve the accuracy of wind dispersion models
|Project type:||Long Term RTD|
|Time frame:||2008 - 2009|
|Funding agency:||FOD/SPF – Volksgezondheid / Santé Publique|
|Geographic keyword: Europe|
|General keyword: Disease modeling | sampling|
|Specific keyword: Culicoides | Wind modelling|
The general objective of this project is to study the vertical distribution of the Culicoides in the lower troposphere and to determine the maximum height at which Culicoides are present. The spread of Culicoides has been studied in depth by Avia-GIS trough different projects (BTV8Wind, EPISTIS, BTCalabria, BLUETONGUE, see this website). However, to optimize the 2D-spread models into a 3D-model, it is necessary to know the presence/absence as well as the abundance and population distribution of the different Culicoides-species in the lower atmosphere (i.c. in up to the boundary layer on a height of 3km).
Given this need, a sampling and analysis of the aero-plankton in the lower troposphere will be performed during the VENTOMO project, using the airborne trapping device (ABTD) developed by Avia-GIS in collaboration with the Von Karman Institute (See project page on ABTD).
The VENTOMO project will start with establishing a relation between meteorological data and the capture of Culicoides sp. at 12m height, using the fixed Rothamsted suction trap in Gembloux (B). The Culicoides sp. will be determined at the taxon-level and each of them will be characterized regarding their physiological state.
This will allow us to understand the activity of Culicoides in relation to meteorological data and give us guidelines to optimize the sampling strategy in the lower troposphere. Sampling campaigns will be organized at different heights and at different moments during the flying season of the Culicoides sp. It will give us an clear insight in the conditions under which the Culicoides sp. are transported by the wind.
Once the optimal sampling strategy of the lower troposphere is known, the sampling data will be used to improve the existing wind models by incorporating the knowledge on the vertical distribution of the Culicoides as well as the degree of activity of the different species.
Legend to the figures:
Figure 1: Light trap (Onderstepoort model)
Figure 2: Rothamsted suction trap operational at the Gembloux research station.
Figure 3: Internal view of the Rothamsted suction trap.