The aim of this study was to investigate whether differences in Ixodes ricinus (L.) nymphal relative density exist among different vegetation types in southern Sweden. Nymphal I. ricinus were sampled in southeastern Scania in southern Sweden during June–August 1997. A total of 110–180 25-m2 samples were taken by blanket-dragging from each of nine different vegetation types. There was a highly significant difference in nymphal abundance between the open areas as one group and the forested areas as another group (P < 0.0001). Vegetation types that differed significantly in median nymphal abundance from all other vegetation types were pine forest (16 nymphs/100 m2) and beech forest (40 nymphs/100 m2). No significant differences in median nymphal density were revealed among mixed deciduous forest, alder forest, oak forest, and hazel forest (28–32 nymphs/100 m2), or among dry meadow, meadow, and heath (0 nymphs/100 m2). Forestation of open areas is likely to lead to increased I. ricinus abundance and disease risk.
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Vol. 40 • No. 4