A retrospective assessment of temperature trends in northern Europe reveals a deep impact on the life cycle of Ixodes ricinus (Acarina: Ixodidae).

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Agustín Estrada-Peña

Abstract

This study modelled the changes in the development processes of the health-threatening tick Ixodes ricinus in northern Europe as driven by the trends of temperature (1950-2016). I used the ECA&D dataset of temperature interpolated at a resolution of 0.25 degrees as the base data for further calculations, which were based on a previously developed process-driven model of the tick. I used the annual accumulated temperature in the period 1950-2016 to obtain the development rates of the oviposition, incubation, larva-nymph, and nymph-adult molts. Annual values were used to ascertain the trend in development rates of each stage. The ecological division of northern Europe (LANMAP2) was used to summarize results along large regions. The temperature in the years 1950-2016 clearly increased in every area of the target territory. The largest increase was observed for a wide territory eastern to Baltic countries, north-eastern Sweden and northern Finland. The development rates of every tested life cycle process had a trend to being faster throughout the time series. Moderate to high increase of the oviposition rates (70%-100% faster) resulted in central Sweden, Baltic countries, parts of Finland, and adjacent territories of Russia. Faster...Continue Reading

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