2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Determining important environmental variables affecting larval Amblyomma americanum activity in different habitats
Elizabeth N. Mann* and Kailong Mao
Dr. Stephanie Fore and Dr. Hyun-Joo Kim, Faculty Mentors

Amblyomma americanum is an aggressive tick species that is known to be a vector of pathogens. The objective of our research was to develop habitat-specific statistical models to predict the activity of larval A. americanum in northeast Missouri. Tick data were collected via off-host sampling from 2007 to 2012 in the forest and field habitats. Environmental data were collected from the NOAA database. Variable duration and model selection were established based on Akaike information criteria (AIC) and a Pearson chi-squared statistic (ĉ). Model averaging was used to determine the relative importance of variables in both habitats. Wind speed and day period were found to be important in the field habitat, while precipitation and extreme temperatures were found to be important for the forest habitat. Environmental variables were likely altered at the microhabitat level by varying vegetation types in the two habitats, explaining the differences in important variables selected.

Keywords: Ticks , Amblyomma americanum, Mathematical Biology, Statistical modeling , Environment , Habitat

Topic(s):Mathematical Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 112-2
Location: MG 1096
Time: 8:15

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