Lone star tick abundance, fire, and bison grazing in tallgrass prairie

TitleLone star tick abundance, fire, and bison grazing in tallgrass prairie
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsCully, JF
JournalJournal of Range Management
Pagination139 -144
Accession NumberKNZ00680
KeywordsAmblyomma americanum, habitat, integrated pest management, Ixodidae

Lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum L.) were collected by drag samples of 1 km transects on 12 watersheds at Konza Prairie Research Natural Area near Manhattan, Kans., during summer 1995-1996. Watersheds were treated to 2 experimental treatments: 3 burn intervals (1-year, 4-year, and 20-year) and 2 grazing treatments (grazed by bison (Bos bison L.) or ungrazed). The objectives were to determine whether fire interval, time since most recent burn, and the presence of large ungulate grazers would cause changes in lone star tick abundance in tallgrass prairie in central Kansas. Watersheds burned at 1-year intervals had fewer larvae and adults than watersheds burned at 4-year or 20-year intervals. Watersheds burned during the year of sampling had fewer ticks than watersheds burned one or more years in the past. For watersheds burned 1 or more years in the past there was no effect from time since burn. The presence of bison did not affect tick abundance. Spring burning is an effective method to reduce tick populations in tallgrass prairie during the year of the burn.