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Temperature effects explain continental scale distribution of cyanobacterial toxins

  • Evanthia Mantzouki
  • Miquel Lurling
  • Jutta Fastner
  • Lisette de Senerpont Domis
  • Elżbieta Wilk-Woźniak
  • Judita Koreivienė
  • Pablo Cordero Urrutia
  • Lars-Anders Hansson
  • Bas W. Ibelings
Publishing year: 2018
Language: English
Publication/Series: Toxins
Volume: 10
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: MDPI AG
Additional info: Export Date: 22 May 2018

Abstract english

Insight into how environmental change determines the production and distribution of cyanobacterial toxins is necessary for risk assessment. Management guidelines currently focus on hepatotoxins (microcystins). Increasing attention is given to other classes, such as neurotoxins (e.g., anatoxin-a) and cytotoxins (e.g., cylindrospermopsin) due to their potency. Most studies examine the relationship between individual toxin variants and environmental factors, such as nutrients, temperature and light. In summer 2015, we collected samples across Europe to investigate the effect of nutrient and temperature gradients on the variability of toxin production at a continental scale. Direct and indirect effects of temperature were the main drivers of the spatial distribution in the toxins produced by the cyanobacterial community, the toxin concentrations and toxin quota. Generalized linear models showed that a Toxin Diversity Index (TDI) increased with latitude, while it decreased with water stability. Increases in TDI were explained through a significant increase in toxin variants such as MC-YR, anatoxin and cylindrospermopsin, accompanied by a decreasing presence of MC-LR. While global warming continues, the direct and indirect effects of increased lake temperatures will drive changes in the distribution of cyanobacterial toxins in Europe, potentially promoting selection of a few highly toxic species or strains. © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Ecology
  • Anatoxin
  • Cylindrospermopsin
  • Direct effects
  • European Multi Lake Survey
  • Indirect effects
  • Microcystin
  • Spatial distribution
  • Temperature
  • anatoxin
  • bacterial toxin
  • cylindrospermopsin
  • microcystin LR
  • microcystin RR
  • nitrogen
  • nodularin
  • phosphorus
  • Article
  • controlled study
  • environmental factor
  • environmental parameters
  • epilimnetic temperature
  • geographic distribution
  • high performance liquid chromatography
  • latitude
  • light climate
  • limit of detection
  • limit of quantitation
  • liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • longitude
  • maximum buoyancy frequency
  • microbial community
  • microbial diversity
  • nonhuman
  • nutrient
  • phytoplankton
  • response variable
  • sea surface temperature
  • temperature
  • thermocline


  • ISSN: 2072-6651
Lars-Anders Hansson
E-mail: lars-anders [dot] hansson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se


Aquatic ecology

+46 46 222 41 69






Research group

Aquatic Ecology

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Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor

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