Novel high throughput sequencing - fluorometric approach demonstrates Microcystis blooms across western Lake Erie are promoted by grazing resistance and nutrient enhanced growth
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Novel high throughput sequencing - fluorometric approach demonstrates Microcystis blooms across western Lake Erie are promoted by grazing resistance and nutrient enhanced growth

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  • Journal Title:
    Harmful Algae
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  • Description:
    Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CHABs) are a global public health threat. While CHABs are often promoted by nutrients, an important and often overlooked influence on bloom dynamics is zooplankton grazing. In the present study, zooplankton grazing and nutrient enrichment experiments were combined with next generation sequencing and fluorometric analyses to quantify differential grazing and nutrient effects on specific cyanobacterial genera across the western basin of Lake Erie. Grazing by two different sized daphnids, Daphnia magna and Daphnia pulex, was compared to protozooplankton grazing effects assessed via a dilution approach at sites within the Maumee and Sandusky Bays where Planktothrix, Microcystis, Synechococcus, and Dolichospermum were the dominant genera. Daphnid grazing significantly reduced Synechococcus net growth rates at most sites as well as Planktothrix net growth in Sandusky Bay and Dolichospermum in Maumee Bay. Dilution resulted in significant growth increase of Synechococcus at half of the sites and Planktothrix at most sites evidencing substantial grazing pressure by the protozooplankton community on these genera. In contrast, Microcystis populations were largely unaffected by daphnids and protozooplankton grazing but benefitted from nutrient enrichment more than other CHAB genera. When diatoms were present in moderate abundance, grazing rates by daphnids on diatoms were significantly greater than grazing rates on cyanobacteria. The novel approach used in this study established differences in grazing pressure and nutrient effects on differing taxa and revealed that, while many taxa were grazed by multiple classes of zooplankton (e.g. Planktothrix, Synechococcus, Dolichospermum, diatoms), the lack of grazing pressure on Microcystis coupled with nutrient-enhanced growth in western Lake Erie promotes the occurrence of CHABs of this genus.
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    Harmful Algae, 110, 102126
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  • ISSN:
    1568-9883
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    CC BY
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    Library
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