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Understanding the genetic, demographical and/or ecological processes at play in invasions: lessons from the southern cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae)

Chevillon C., De Garine-Wichatitsky M., Barré N., Ducornez S., De Meeus T.. 2013. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 59 (1-2) : p. 203-218.

The southern cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus, is the ixodid species causing the largest economic losses in tropical agrosystems because of its recurrent invasive success, explosive demography on bovine herds, vector competence for diverse pathogens and frequent development of acaricide resistance. Its ecology and the physiological bases of the acaricide resistances it developed, as well as alternative tick control measures, have been intensively studied for decades. By contrast, the tick population genetic structure and its remarkable ability to quickly adapt to new environments have not yet received much attention. We investigated such issues using population genetics analyses in the recently invaded island New Caledonia. In this paper we aim to describe some guidelines for acarologists willing to investigate the processes at play in Acari invasions. Particular emphasis is given to the accuracy of sampling designs and sampling scales for population genetics to be actually informative on the demographical processes of the species (i.e., its mating rules, the determinants of population limits, population sizes, the relationships between genetic exchanges and geographical distances and relevant ecological factors). (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : acarina; résistance aux organismes nuisibles; lutte anti-insecte; espèce envahissante; Écologie animale; adaptation; dynamique des populations; génétique des populations; rhipicephalus; bovin; nouvelle-calédonie; rhipicephalus microplus

Thématique : Organismes nuisibles des animaux; Maladies des animaux

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