Habitat properties are key drivers of Borrelia burgdorferi (s.l.) prevalence in Ixodes ricinus popul
Steffen Ehrmann, Sanne C. Ruyts, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Jürgen Bauhus, Jörg Brunet, Sara A. O. Cousins, Marc Deconchat, Guillaume Decocq, Pieter De Frenne, Pallieter De Smedt, Martin Diekmann, Emilie Gallet-Moron, Stefanie Gärtner, Karin Hansen, Annette Kolb, Jonathan Lenoir, Jessica Lindgren, Tobias Naaf, Taavi Paal, Marcus Panning, Maren Prinz, Alicia Valdés, Kris Verheyen, Monika Wulf and Jaan Liira, Parasites & Vectors, 2018
The tick Ixodes ricinus has considerable impact on the health of humans and other terrestrial animals because it transmits several tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) such as B. burgdorferi (sensu lato), which causes Lyme borreliosis (LB). Small forest patches of agricultural landscapes provide many ecosystem services and also the disservice of LB risk. Biotic interactions and environmental filtering shape tick host communities distinctively between specific regions of Europe, which makes evaluating the dilution effect hypothesis and its influence across various scales challenging. Latitude, macroclimate, landscape and habitat properties drive both hosts and ticks and are comparable metrics across Europe. Therefore, we instead assess these environmental drivers as indicators and determine their respective roles for the prevalence of B. burgdorferi in I. ricinus.