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Hot and toxic: Temperature regulates microcystin release from cyanobacteria

Walls, Jeremy T ; Wyatt, Kevin H ; Doll, Jason C ; Rubenstein, Eric M ; Rober, Allison R

Science of the Total Environment, 01 January 2018, Vol.610-611, pp.786-795 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Hot and toxic: Temperature regulates microcystin release from cyanobacteria
  • Author: Walls, Jeremy T ; Wyatt, Kevin H ; Doll, Jason C ; Rubenstein, Eric M ; Rober, Allison R
  • Description: The mechanisms regulating toxin release by cyanobacteria are poorly understood despite the threat cyanotoxins pose to water quality and human health globally. To determine the potential for temperature to regulate microcystin release by toxin-producing cyanobacteria, we evaluated seasonal patterns of water temperature, cyanobacteria biomass, and extracellular microcystin concentration in a eutrophic freshwater lake dominated by . We replicated seasonal variation in water temperature in a concurrent laboratory incubation experiment designed to evaluate cause-effect relationships between temperature and toxin release. Lake temperature ranged from 3 to 27 °C and cyanobacteria biomass increased with warming up to 18 °C, but declined rapidly thereafter with further increases in temperature. Extracellular microcystin concentration was tightly coupled with temperature and was most elevated between 20 and 25 °C, which was concurrent with the decline in cyanobacteria biomass. A similar trend was observed in laboratory incubations where productivity-specific microcystin release was most elevated between 20 and 25 °C and then declined sharply at 30 °C. We applied generalized linear mixed modeling to evaluate the strength of water temperature as a predictor of cyanobacteria abundance and microcystin release, and determined that warming ≥ 20 °C would result in a 36% increase in microcystin release when Chlorophyll was ≤ 50 μg l . These results show a temperature threshold for toxin release in . , which demonstrates a potential to use water temperature to forecast bloom severity in eutrophic lakes where blooms can persist year-round with varying degrees of toxicity.
  • Is Part Of: Science of the Total Environment, 01 January 2018, Vol.610-611, pp.786-795
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0048-9697 ; E-ISSN: 1879-1026 ; DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.149
  • Subjects: Cyanotoxin ; Harmful Algal Bloom ; Planktothrix Agardhii ; Toxicity ; Warming ; Environmental Sciences ; Biology ; Public Health
  • Language: English
  • Source: ScienceDirect Journals (Elsevier)

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