Mosquitoes can carry all kinds of diseases, but how exactly do mosquitoes spread? In the Tropical Glasshouses, research is being conducted on the impact of invasive aquatic plant species on the survival of mosquito populations. It is thought that with the increase in invasive aquatic plant species in Europe, there is simultaneously an increase in hiding places for mosquito larvae to survive in.
Invasive aquatic plants have small "burrows" between their leaves and the water surface where mosquito larvae might very well survive and grow up. Here they could be protected from predators and thus are less likely to be eaten. This could mean, that with the arrival of more invasive aquatic plants in Europe, there would possibly be an increase in mosquito populations. This would mean a greater risk of transmission of certain viruses. So to avoid these scenarios, it is important that research is done on this to avoid possible virus outbreaks. In the Hortus, there is now an experiment where mosquitoes have been introduced with some species of invasive aquatic plants, to test whether they survive better in the presence or absence of the plants.