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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Assessment Simulation Tools for Integrated Tick Management of Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) Microplus in Puerto Rico

Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research

Project Number: 3094-32000-039-49
Project Type: General Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 30, 2014
End Date: May 29, 2015

Objective:
Develop a spatially explicit, individual-/agent-based, stochastic model to simulate the spatial-temporal dynamics of cattle fever ticks in response to changes in climatic conditions, landscape structure, and host community composition in Puerto Rico. Compare and analyze results from the planned epidemiological assessment in Puerto Rico to simulation assessments. Evaluate tick suppression tactics and strategies for project implementation in Puerto Rico.

Approach:
Incorporate existing wet-dry season parameters for the ecology of R. microplus in Puerto Rico into a spatially explicit, individual-/agent-based, stochastic one-host tick simulation model developed utilizing NetLogo (Version 5.05, Wilensky, U., 1999. NetLogo. In. Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL). Design spatial and temporal evaluation points for simulations of tick population dynamics based upon changes in climatic conditions, landscape structure, and host community composition in dairy and beef industries unique to Puerto Rico. Utilize the planned epidemiological assessment of ticks and seroprevalence of Babesia and Anaplasma in PR Project Phase 1 to validate spatial and temporal elements in the simulation product. Evaluate tactical application of products meeting specifications for product efficacy and safety to assess program implementation, tick population suppression, enzootic stability, and cost:benefit. Promising products would be evaluated as an independent tactic, or could be integrated with other tactics as a comprehensive IPM strategy and assessed for programmatic success with respect to spatial and temporal ecological variation and aspects of livestock industry variation. The outcome of Field Pilot tests of IPM strategies in Project Phase 4 could be compared and contrasted with modeled data and used to identify and shore up any additional needs, or to identify further elements (tactics) needed for program level success. Parallel assessment of IPM strategies in field tests that are by nature slow would be accomplished with complimentary long-term simulation over years.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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