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Presence of the Cyanotoxin Microcystin in Arctic Lakes of Southwestern Greenland

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Cyanobacteria and their toxins have received significant attention in eutrophic temperate and tropical systems where conspicuous blooms of certain planktonic taxa release toxins into fresh water, threatening its potability and safe use for recreation. Although toxigenic cyanobacteria are not confined to high nutrient environments, bloom-forming species, or planktonic taxa, these other situations are studied les often studied. For example, toxin production in picoplankton and benthic cyanobacteria—the predominant photoautotrophs found in polar lakes—is poorly understood. We quantified the occurrence of microcystin (MC, a hepatotoxic cyanotoxin) across 18 Arctic lakes in southwestern Greenland. All of the focal lakes contained detectable levels of MC, with concentrations ranging from 5 ng·L−1 to >400 ng·L−1 during summer, 2013–2015. These concentrations are orders of magnitude lower than many eutrophic systems, yet the median lake MC concentration in Greenland (57 ng·L−1) was still 6.5 times higher than the median summer MC toxicity observed across 50 New Hampshire lakes between 1998 and 2008 (8.7 ng·L−1). The presence of cyanotoxins in these Greenlandic lakes demonstrates that high latitude lakes can support toxigenic cyanobacteria, and suggests that we may be underestimating the potential for these systems to develop high levels of cyanotoxins in the future.

No MeSH data available.


Concentrations of microcystin (MC) ranging from 6 ng·L−1 to >300 ng·L−1 in 18 lakes in the Kangerlussuaq region of Greenland during the summer, 2013–2015. Vertical lines represent median MC concentrations in each year.
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toxins-08-00256-f001: Concentrations of microcystin (MC) ranging from 6 ng·L−1 to >300 ng·L−1 in 18 lakes in the Kangerlussuaq region of Greenland during the summer, 2013–2015. Vertical lines represent median MC concentrations in each year.

Mentions: All 18 of the sampled lakes near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland contained detectable levels of MC in “grab” samples of water from the top 1 m, in each of the three years of sampling (2013, 2014, and 2015, Figure 1). Across all lakes, MC concentrations ranged from 6 ng·L−1 to >300 ng·L−1 (Figure 1), with a median MC concentration of 57 ng·L−1 across all lakes and years (Table S1). Excluding the one lake in our data set with very high MC concentrations (lake “SMA”, Table S1), median MC concentrations increased from 14.6 ng·L−1 in 2013 to 50.1 ng·L−1 in 2014 and 78.9 ng·L−1 in 2015 (one-way ANOVA on year controlling for lake as a random effect: F2,48 = 55.2, p < 0.0001, Figure S1). In quality control (QC) samples, the intra-assay coefficient of variability (CV) was 14% (n = 82 plates), while inter-assay CV was 32% (n = 21 samples run on ≥2 plates, Table S2).


Presence of the Cyanotoxin Microcystin in Arctic Lakes of Southwestern Greenland
Concentrations of microcystin (MC) ranging from 6 ng·L−1 to >300 ng·L−1 in 18 lakes in the Kangerlussuaq region of Greenland during the summer, 2013–2015. Vertical lines represent median MC concentrations in each year.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5037482&req=5

toxins-08-00256-f001: Concentrations of microcystin (MC) ranging from 6 ng·L−1 to >300 ng·L−1 in 18 lakes in the Kangerlussuaq region of Greenland during the summer, 2013–2015. Vertical lines represent median MC concentrations in each year.
Mentions: All 18 of the sampled lakes near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland contained detectable levels of MC in “grab” samples of water from the top 1 m, in each of the three years of sampling (2013, 2014, and 2015, Figure 1). Across all lakes, MC concentrations ranged from 6 ng·L−1 to >300 ng·L−1 (Figure 1), with a median MC concentration of 57 ng·L−1 across all lakes and years (Table S1). Excluding the one lake in our data set with very high MC concentrations (lake “SMA”, Table S1), median MC concentrations increased from 14.6 ng·L−1 in 2013 to 50.1 ng·L−1 in 2014 and 78.9 ng·L−1 in 2015 (one-way ANOVA on year controlling for lake as a random effect: F2,48 = 55.2, p < 0.0001, Figure S1). In quality control (QC) samples, the intra-assay coefficient of variability (CV) was 14% (n = 82 plates), while inter-assay CV was 32% (n = 21 samples run on ≥2 plates, Table S2).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Cyanobacteria and their toxins have received significant attention in eutrophic temperate and tropical systems where conspicuous blooms of certain planktonic taxa release toxins into fresh water, threatening its potability and safe use for recreation. Although toxigenic cyanobacteria are not confined to high nutrient environments, bloom-forming species, or planktonic taxa, these other situations are studied les often studied. For example, toxin production in picoplankton and benthic cyanobacteria&mdash;the predominant photoautotrophs found in polar lakes&mdash;is poorly understood. We quantified the occurrence of microcystin (MC, a hepatotoxic cyanotoxin) across 18 Arctic lakes in southwestern Greenland. All of the focal lakes contained detectable levels of MC, with concentrations ranging from 5 ng&middot;L&minus;1 to &gt;400 ng&middot;L&minus;1 during summer, 2013&ndash;2015. These concentrations are orders of magnitude lower than many eutrophic systems, yet the median lake MC concentration in Greenland (57 ng&middot;L&minus;1) was still 6.5 times higher than the median summer MC toxicity observed across 50 New Hampshire lakes between 1998 and 2008 (8.7 ng&middot;L&minus;1). The presence of cyanotoxins in these Greenlandic lakes demonstrates that high latitude lakes can support toxigenic cyanobacteria, and suggests that we may be underestimating the potential for these systems to develop high levels of cyanotoxins in the future.

No MeSH data available.