The spatial relationship between temperature, moisture, and tick abundance

Ticks can carry more than 16 diseases capable of infecting humans, the most common of which being Lyme disease. Knowing the factors affect their abundance is useful for mapping populations and predicting when and where vector ticks may be present. Here, we attempt to determine if there is a spatial relationship between temperature, moisture, and tick abundance in Massachusetts. Data on tick pathogen-status, monthly precipitation, and monthly temperature from 2017-2018 was obtained from the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). The data was used to build a linear model as well as statistical tests in R-Studio® to test for significant correlations between temperature and tick abundance, as well as precipitation and tick abundance. Both statistical tests yielded p-values of over 0.05, indicating a lack of statistically significant correlations. However, this study focused on a very narrow timeframe in one location, so future research is needed to gain a more accurate picture of the spatial relationship between temperature, moisture, and tick abundance.