Monitoring and collecting ticks on the OPTMix experimental site

Project partners: INRA Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes – VetAgro Sup, UMR Epidémiologie des maladies animales et zoonotiques (EPIA)

The monitoring of tick populations on the OPTMix experimental facility in collaboration with INRA is part of the CCEID project (Climate change and the risk of wildlife-borne infectious diseases emergence in agricultural and forest landscapes) within the ACCAF (Adaptation agriculture and forestry to climate change) research program of INRA. OPTMix is one of several sites in the CCEID project whose objective is both to set up a network of long-term monitoring sites of the population dynamics of vectors (ticks) and reservoirs of pathogens (rodents) and to develop associated risk prediction models.

The collection of ticks will take place every month in plots with conventional silviculture (with a relative density index, RDI, around 0.7). On each plot (plots O200-O214-O216), the collection of ticks is carried out on 10 transects of 10 m² each. Other data collected on the OPTMix site will help to study the relationship between tick population dynamics and environmental variables such as climate (data from the metrological station), understorey vegetation (vegetation surveys), rodent populations (trapping of small mammals) and wild ungulate populations (camera traps).

Identification and conservation of ticks are done by INRA. Conserved ticks will later on be analysed for pathogens.

The start and the end of transects are marked by wooden sticks painted in orange (see second picture below).

People involved (see first picture below): Yves Boscardin (Irstea), Valérie Poux (INRA UMR EPIA), Adélie Chevalier (Irstea), Isabelle Lebert (INRA UMR EPIA), Anders Mårell (Irstea)


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