Changes in climate and habitat suitability for the cattle tick Boophilus microplus in its southern Neotropical distribution range.

Journal of vector ecology : journal of the Society for Vector Ecology

PubMedID: 16859105

Estrada-Peña A, Corson M, Venzal JM, Mangold AJ, Guglielmone A. Changes in climate and habitat suitability for the cattle tick Boophilus microplus in its southern Neotropical distribution range. J Vector Ecol. 2006;31(1):158-67.
We addressed the possible effects of several climate scenarios on habitat suitability (HS) for the cattle tick Boophilus microplus and the probability of producing permanent populations from introduced females of that tick in central parts of Argentina, using both a correlative model (derived from climate predictors) and a mechanistic (life cycle) model. There was high correlation (R2 = 0.866) between HS-derived and life cycle outputs for HS values higher than 0.52, suggesting that HS is a good estimator of the life cycle of the tick above a critical threshold of HS values. Scenarios with increased temperatures increased suitable habitats for the tick in southern parts of the study region, extending below parallel 34 degrees S, but suitable habitats remained limited in the west. A concurrent increase in rainfall produced a further increase of HS in these areas. Results from the life cycle model suggest that in areas of suitable habitat, permanent cattle tick populations are most probable if engorged females are introduced during mid-summer.