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Dilution Effect
As suburbs developed in New England, the forest habitat became more patchy, resulting in the disappearance of some species and the proliferation of mice--which are the reservoir for the Lyme spirochete--and ticks, which carry the disease to humans. This increased the proportion of infected ticks, and led to an increase in human disease.

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Online Textbook:
Biodiversity: Keystone Species and the Diversity-Stability Hypothesis

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Related Images:
Deer tick
Tick photo
Tick
Mouse
Spiro
Mouse ear with engorged ticks

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