Nitrogen Forms Influence Microcystin Concentration and Composition via Changes in Cyanobacterial Community Structure
Pick, Frances R.
Beisner, Beatrix E.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
The eutrophication of freshwaters is a global health concern as lakes with excess nutrients are often subject to toxic cyanobacterial blooms. Although phosphorus is considered the main element regulating cyanobacterial biomass, nitrogen (N) concentration and more specifically the availability of different N forms may influence the overall toxicity of blooms. In this study of three eutrophic lakes prone to cyanobacterial blooms, we examined the effects of nitrogen species and concentrations and other environmental factors in influencing cyanobacterial community structure, microcystin (MC) concentrations and MC congener composition. The identification of specific MC congeners was of particular interest as they vary widely in toxicity. Different nitrogen forms appeared to influence cyanobacterial community structure leading to corresponding effects on MC concentrations and composition. Total MC concentrations across the lakes were largely explained by a combination of abiotic factors: dissolved organic nitrogen, water temperature and ammonium, but Microcystis spp. biomass was overall the best predictor of MC concentrations. Environmental factors did not appear to affect MC congener composition directly but there were significant associations between specific MC congeners and particular species. Based on redundancy analyses (RDA), the relative biomass of Microcystis aeruginosa was associated with MC-RR, M. wesenbergii with MC-LA and Aphanizomenon flos-aquae with MC-YR. The latter two species are not generally considered capable of MC production. Total nitrogen, water temperature, ammonium and dissolved organic nitrogen influenced the cyanobacterial community structure, which in turn resulted in differences in the dominant MC congener and the overall toxicity Show more
Journal / seriesPLoS ONE
Pages / Article No.
PublisherPublic Library of Science
Organisational unit03705 - Jokela, Jukka / Jokela, Jukka
MoreShow all metadata