Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

First report of Aphanizomenon favaloroi occurrence in Europe associated with saxitoxins and a massive fish kill in Lake Vistonis, Greece

Maria Moustaka-Gouni A E , Anastasia Hiskia B , Savvas Genitsaris A , Matina Katsiapi A , Korina Manolidi B , Sevasti-Kiriaki Zervou B , Christophoros Christophoridis B , Theodoros M. Triantis B , Triantafyllos Kaloudis C and Sotiris Orfanidis D

A School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, GR-54124 Thessaloniki, Greece.

B Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, National Center for Scientific Research ‘Demokritos’, GR-15341 Agia Paraskevi, Athens, Greece.

C Water Quality Department, Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP SA), Oropou 156, GR-11146 Galatsi, Athens, Greece.

D National Agricultural Research Foundation, Fisheries Research Institute, GR-64007 Nea Peramos, Kavala, Greece.

E Corresponding author. Email: mmustaka@bio.auth.gr

Marine and Freshwater Research - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF16029
Submitted: 27 January 2016  Accepted: 12 April 2016   Published online: 29 June 2016

Abstract

The cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon favaloroi was identified for the first time in Europe in the Mediterranean brackish Lake Vistonis during July–August 2014. It formed a dense bloom (from 16 × 106 to 81 × 106 trichomes L–1), causing a brown colouration of the lake water. When A. favaloroi formed 100% of the total phytoplankton biomass (44 mg L–1), saxitoxins (saxitoxin and neo-saxitoxin) were detected in the lake seston (42 and 17 μg g–1 phytoplankton dry weight respectively), which was screened for saxitoxins, cylindrospermopsin, anatoxin-a, microcystins and nodularin. A massive fish kill coincided with the A. favaloroi bloom. This new saxitoxin-producing species of cyanobacteria, with traits for successful dispersal, may pose a health risk to animals and humans and cause adverse effects on water quality and water services because of its expansion potential.

Additional keywords: brackish Mediterranean Lake, cyanobacterial bloom.


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