Analysis of environmental drivers influencing interspecific variations and associations among bloom-forming cyanobacteria in large, shallow eutrophic lakes.Harmful Algae. 2019 04; 84:84-94.HA
Non-diazotrophic Microcystis and filamentous N2-fixing Aphanizomenon and Dolichospermum (formerly Anabaena) co-occur or successively dominate freshwaters globally. Previous studies indicate that dual nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) reduction is needed to control cyanobacterial blooms; however, N limitation may cause replacement of non-N2-fixing by N2-fixing taxa. To evaluate potentially counterproductive scenarios, the effects of temperature, nutrients, and zooplankton on the spatio-temporal variations of cyanobacteria were investigated in three large, shallow eutrophic lakes in China. The results illustrate that the community composition of cyanobacteria is primarily driven by physical factors and the zooplankton community, and their interactions. Niche differentiation between Microcystis and two N2-fixing taxa in Lake Taihu and Lake Chaohu was observed, whereas small temperature fluctuations in Lake Dianchi supported co-dominance. Through structural equation modelling, predictor variables were aggregated into 'composites' representing their combined effects on species-specific biomass. The model results showed that Microcystis biomass was affected by water temperature and P concentrations across the studied lakes. The biomass of two filamentous taxa, by contrast, exhibited lake-specific responses. Understanding of driving forces of the succession and competition among bloom-forming cyanobacteria will help to guide lake restoration in the context of climate warming and N:P stoichiometry imbalances.