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Effects of Forest Fragmentation on Human Risk of Lyme Disease
Jackson, L. AND E. Hilborn. Effects of Forest Fragmentation on Human Risk of Lyme Disease. Presented at EPA/CDC Tick-Borne Disease IPM Conference, Arlington, VA, March 05 - 06, 2013.
To present wildlife habitat management as a complement or substitute for chemical pest magement.
Percent forest-herbaceous edge repeatedly explained most of the variability in reported Lyme disease rates within a rural-to-urban study gradient across central Maryland and southeastern Pennsylvania. A one-percent increase in forest-herbaceous edge was associated with an increase in incidence rate of 3% (MD) and 8% (PA), and a 10% increase in the probability of a landscape exceeding 10 cases/100,000 person-years (MD/PA). Possible reasons for inconsistent model specification across states: - variable quality of passive surveillance data from health depts. - differences in human-environment interaction between states - differences in wildlife and/or vector abundance, infection. Large, multi-parcel landscape analysis units seem to capture important social and ecological processes. Community-level management to reduce forest fragmentation may be a highly effective alternative or complement to individual-level preventative measures, potentially reducing the need for pesticide applications. Multiple societal benefits should be assessed within a collaborative, systems framework to decide how much to minimize forest fragmentation.