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Invasive zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) increase cyanobacterial toxin concentrations in low-nutrient lakes

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Abstract:

We investigated whether concentrations of the cyanobacterial toxin microcystin were positively associated with Dreissena polymorpha invasion by conducting surveys of 39 inland lakes in southern Michigan with low to moderate total phosphorus concentrations (≤20 µg·L–1). Lakes with D. polymorpha had 3.3 times higher microcystin concentrations and 3.6 times higher biomass of Microcystis aeruginosa (a major producer of microcystin) than comparable lakes without D. polymorpha. In contrast, the biomass of Anabaena spp. (another potential producer of microcystin) was 4.6 times higher in lakes without D. polymorpha. We also conducted a large-scale enclosure manipulation of D. polymorpha density in Gull Lake, a low-nutrient lake containing D. polymorpha. The experiment revealed a positive effect of D. polymorpha on microcystin concentrations and M. aeruginosa biomass. The congruence between survey and experimental results provides strong evidence that D. polymorpha invasion causes an increase in toxin concentrations in lakes with low to moderate nutrients. An increase in M. aeruginosa biomass may negatively impact food webs and public health because microcystins are known to be toxic to aquatic and terrestrial organisms.

Nous avons recherché s’il existe une association positive entre les concentrations de microcystine, une toxine des cyanobactéries, et l’invasion de Dreissena polymorpha, en faisant un inventaire de 39 lacs intérieurs du sud du Michigan qui ont des concentrations faibles à modérées de phosphore total (≤20 µg·L–1). Les lacs à D. polymorpha ont des concentrations de microcystine 3,3 fois plus importantes et des biomasses 3,6 fois plus grandes de Microcystis aeruginosa (un producteur important de microcystine) que des lacs semblables sans D. polymorpha. En revanche, la biomasse d’Anabaena spp. (un autre producteur potentiel de microcystine) est 4,6 fois plus élevée dans les lacs sans D. polymorpha. Nous avons aussi fait une manipulation en enclos à grande échelle de la densité de D. polymorpha au lac Gull, un lac avec peu de nutriments qui contient D. polymorpha. L’expérience indique un effet positif de D. polymorpha sur les concentrations de microcystine et la biomasse de M. aeruginosa. L’accord entre l’inventaire et les résultats expérimentaux est une forte indication que l’invasion de D. polymorpha cause une augmentation des concentrations de toxines dans les lacs de niveaux faibles à modérés de nutriments. Une augmentation de la biomasse de M. aeruginosa peut avoir un impact négatif sur les réseaux alimentaires et la santé publique puisque les microcystines sont connues pour être toxiques pour les organismes aquatiques et terrestres.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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  • Published continuously since 1901 (under various titles), this monthly journal is the primary publishing vehicle for the multidisciplinary field of aquatic sciences. It publishes perspectives (syntheses, critiques, and re-evaluations), discussions (comments and replies), articles, and rapid communications, relating to current research on cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, or processes that affect aquatic systems. The journal seeks to amplify, modify, question, or redirect accumulated knowledge in the field of fisheries and aquatic science. Occasional supplements are dedicated to single topics or to proceedings of international symposia.
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