Massive developments of potentially toxic cyanobacteria in Lake Stechlin, an oligo-mesotrophic lake in the Baltic Lake District of Germany raised concerns about toxic contamination of these important ecosystems. Field samples in the phase of mass developments of cyanobacteria were used for genetic and toxicological analyses. Microcystins and microcystin genes were detected in field samples of the lake for the first time. However, the toxins were not produced by the dominant taxa (Dolichospermum circinale and Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) but by taxa, which were present only in low biomass in the samples (Microcystis cf. aeruginosa and Planktothrix rubescens). The phytoplankton successions during the study period revealed an increase of cyanobacterial populations. The findings contribute to the changes that have been investigated in Lake Stechlin since the mid-1990s. The possible reasons behind these developments may be climate change, special weather conditions and an increased nutrient pool.
- Lake Stechlin
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis