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Shrub clearing adversely affects the abundance of Ixodes ricinus ticks

Wesley Tack (UGent) , Maxime Madder, Lander Baeten (UGent) , Margot Vanhellemont (UGent) and Kris Verheyen (UGent)
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Abstract
In order to get a better understanding of the importance of vertical forest structure as a component of Ixodes ricinus tick habitat, an experiment was set up in a coniferous forest on sandy soils in northern Belgium. Ticks were sampled in six control and six treatment plots on various sampling occasions in 2008-2010. In the course of the study period, a moderate thinning was carried out in all plots and shrub clearing was performed in the treatment plots. Thinning had no effect on tick abundance, while shrub clearing had an adverse affect on the abundance of all three life stages (larva, nymph, adult) up to 2 years post-clearing. Our findings are especially relevant in the light of the ongoing efforts to improve vertical forest structure in Belgium and many other parts of Europe, which might create suitable habitats for ticks and change the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases. Also, our results indicate that shrub clearing could be applied as a tick control measure in recreational areas where there is a high degree of human-tick contact.
Keywords
Ticks, Ixodes ricinus, Forest, Shrub clearing, Vegetation management, BORNE ENCEPHALITIS, LYME BORRELIOSIS, HIGHER ALTITUDES, CENTRAL-EUROPE, ACARI, BIODIVERSITY, TEMPERATURE, LANDSCAPE, ZOONOSES, ECOLOGY

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Citation

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Chicago
Tack, Wesley, Maxime Madder, Lander Baeten, Margot Vanhellemont, and Kris Verheyen. 2013. “Shrub Clearing Adversely Affects the Abundance of Ixodes Ricinus Ticks.” Experimental and Applied Acarology 60 (3): 411–420.
APA
Tack, W., Madder, M., Baeten, L., Vanhellemont, M., & Verheyen, K. (2013). Shrub clearing adversely affects the abundance of Ixodes ricinus ticks. EXPERIMENTAL AND APPLIED ACAROLOGY, 60(3), 411–420.
Vancouver
1.
Tack W, Madder M, Baeten L, Vanhellemont M, Verheyen K. Shrub clearing adversely affects the abundance of Ixodes ricinus ticks. EXPERIMENTAL AND APPLIED ACAROLOGY. 2013;60(3):411–20.
MLA
Tack, Wesley, Maxime Madder, Lander Baeten, et al. “Shrub Clearing Adversely Affects the Abundance of Ixodes Ricinus Ticks.” EXPERIMENTAL AND APPLIED ACAROLOGY 60.3 (2013): 411–420. Print.
@article{4149401,
  abstract     = {In order to get a better understanding of the importance of vertical forest structure as a component of Ixodes ricinus tick habitat, an experiment was set up in a coniferous forest on sandy soils in northern Belgium. Ticks were sampled in six control and six treatment plots on various sampling occasions in 2008-2010. In the course of the study period, a moderate thinning was carried out in all plots and shrub clearing was performed in the treatment plots. Thinning had no effect on tick abundance, while shrub clearing had an adverse affect on the abundance of all three life stages (larva, nymph, adult) up to 2 years post-clearing. Our findings are especially relevant in the light of the ongoing efforts to improve vertical forest structure in Belgium and many other parts of Europe, which might create suitable habitats for ticks and change the epidemiology of tick-borne diseases. Also, our results indicate that shrub clearing could be applied as a tick control measure in recreational areas where there is a high degree of human-tick contact.},
  author       = {Tack, Wesley and Madder, Maxime and Baeten, Lander and Vanhellemont, Margot and Verheyen, Kris},
  issn         = {0168-8162},
  journal      = {EXPERIMENTAL AND APPLIED ACAROLOGY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {411--420},
  title        = {Shrub clearing adversely affects the abundance of Ixodes ricinus ticks},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10493-013-9655-0},
  volume       = {60},
  year         = {2013},
}

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