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trail mowing experiment setup

at left, a closeup of grass that is short (8 centimeters) in the foreground and taller in the background, with a yellow dotted line digitally inserted to indicate the border between the two sections of grass. at right, a wider view of a park trail extending into the distance, with one side digitally shaded in yellow and one side shaded in green in the foreground. further in the distance, the green and yellow sections are on opposite sides in the next section of trail.

Researchers studying how a single mowing of park trails affects tick prevalence conducted their study at three nature centers in Minnesota in 2021. The image at left shows the difference in vegetation height between mown and unmown sections of trail, and the image at right illustrates the checkerboard pattern in which 200-meter sections of trail were mown on one side and left unmown on the other, with the sides alternating at each new section. (Image orginally published in Lee et all 2022, Journal of Medical Entomology

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