Title

Exploring the Longevity of Ixodes affinis in Different Regions of Virginia

Description/Abstract

Invasive species are those that do originate from that specific location but can cause harm to the environment they move into. Ixodes affinis, a tick that is known not to bite humans, is one of these invasive species that has made its way up the Atlantic coast and became established in Coastal Plain region of Virginia. However, this species has not been found within the Piedmont region of Virginia, an area that’s potentially not suitable for their needs. A previous study eliminated the hypothesis that this difference could be explained by elevation differences. Because of this, a study was conducted to determine if the differences in soil composition from the Coastal Plain and Piedmont had an impact on the species longevity, which could explain survival in only the Coastal Plain. Several ticks were collected from Virginia Beach and split between two jars: one had soil from the Piedmont region and the other from the grounds of Old Dominion University. Between late June and early August, presence of tick life, temperature, and humidity were checked daily followed by weekly checks. Soil tests were also conducted to determine if a lack or excess of nutrients influenced the species longevity.

Presenting Author Name/s

Marcus Simon

Faculty Advisor

Holly Gaff

Presentation Type

Poster

Disciplines

Biology | Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology

Session Title

Poster Session

Location

Learning Commons, Atrium

Start Date

2-8-2020 8:00 AM

End Date

2-8-2020 12:30 PM

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Feb 8th, 8:00 AM Feb 8th, 12:30 PM

Exploring the Longevity of Ixodes affinis in Different Regions of Virginia

Learning Commons, Atrium

Invasive species are those that do originate from that specific location but can cause harm to the environment they move into. Ixodes affinis, a tick that is known not to bite humans, is one of these invasive species that has made its way up the Atlantic coast and became established in Coastal Plain region of Virginia. However, this species has not been found within the Piedmont region of Virginia, an area that’s potentially not suitable for their needs. A previous study eliminated the hypothesis that this difference could be explained by elevation differences. Because of this, a study was conducted to determine if the differences in soil composition from the Coastal Plain and Piedmont had an impact on the species longevity, which could explain survival in only the Coastal Plain. Several ticks were collected from Virginia Beach and split between two jars: one had soil from the Piedmont region and the other from the grounds of Old Dominion University. Between late June and early August, presence of tick life, temperature, and humidity were checked daily followed by weekly checks. Soil tests were also conducted to determine if a lack or excess of nutrients influenced the species longevity.