Forest classes and tree cover gradient: tick habitat in encroached areas of southern Norway


Forest, in particular deciduous forest, is a key element in determining areas with a high probability of tick presence. The way forest is generally monitored may be ill suited to some landscapes where Ixodes ricinus is found, as forest is usually characterised using crisp land cover classes. However, tree vegetation can be found outside of forests and continuous gradations of tree density can be found in a variety of landscapes. In this paper we investigate the probability of tick presence in southern Norway using landscape description based both on land cover classes and continuous data describing the tree cover fraction. Both perspectives on the landscape are significant in the logistic model, indicating that the usual approach based solely on land cover classes may not be comprehensive enough in capturing tick habitat, and characterising the landscape with variables focused on single specific elements may be insufficient.

Experimental & Applied Acarology
Patrick Meyfroidt
Patrick Meyfroidt
Professor of Land Systems and Sustainability Science

My research focuses on how land systems can contribute to sustainability.