The abundance of Ixodes ricinus ticks depends on tree species composition and shrub cover

Show simple item record Tack, Wesley Madder, Maxime Baeten, Lander De Frenne, P. Verheyen, Kris 2012-10-04T08:13:45Z 2013-04-13T00:20:03Z 2012-04-13
dc.description.abstract The mainstream forestry policy in many European countries is to convert coniferous plantations into (semi-natural) deciduous woodlands. However, woodlands are the main habitat for Ixodes ricinus ticks. Therefore, assessing to what extent tick abundance and infection with Borrelia spirochetes are affected by forest composition and structure is a prerequisite for effective prevention of Lyme borreliosis. We selected a total of 25 pine and oak stands, both with and without an abundant shrub layer, in northern Belgium and estimated tick abundance between April and October 2008–2010. Additionally, the presence of deer beds was used as an indicator of relative deer habitat use. Borrelia infections in questing nymphs were determined by polymerase chain reactions. The abundance of larvae, nymphs, and adults was higher in oak stands compared to pine stands and increased with increasing shrub cover, most likely due to differences in habitat use by the ticks’ main hosts. Whereas tick abundance was markedly higher in structure-rich oak stands compared to homogeneous pine stands, the Borrelia infection rates in nymphs did not differ significantly. Our results indicate that conversion towards structure-rich deciduous forests might create more suitable tick habitats, but we were unable to detect an effect on the infection rate. en
dc.description.librarian ab2012 en
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported by IWT-Flanders, the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology in Flanders. en
dc.description.uri en
dc.identifier.citation Tack, W, Madder, M, Baeten, L., De Frenne, P & Verheyen, K 2012, 'The abundance of Ixodes ricinus ticks depends on tree species composition and shrub cover', Parasitology, vol. 139, pp. 1273-1281. en
dc.identifier.issn 0031-1820 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1469-8161 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1017/S0031182012000625
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Cambridge University Press en
dc.relation.requires Adobe Acrobat Reader en
dc.rights © Cambridge University Press 2012 en
dc.subject Ixodes ricinus en
dc.subject Borrelia burgdorferi en
dc.subject Roe deer en
dc.subject Habitat en
dc.subject Forest conversion en
dc.subject.lcsh Ixodes en
dc.subject.lcsh Ticks en
dc.subject.lcsh Trees en
dc.subject.lcsh Shrubs en
dc.subject.lcsh Forests and forestry en
dc.title The abundance of Ixodes ricinus ticks depends on tree species composition and shrub cover en
dc.type Article en

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record