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Temperature effects explain continental scale distribution of cyanobacterial toxins.

Mantzouki, Evanthia; Lürling, Miquel; Fastner, Jutta; de Senerpont Domis, Lisette; Ibelings, Bas W.; Teurlincx, Sven; Chmura, Damian


Evanthia Mantzouki

Miquel Lürling

Jutta Fastner

Lisette de Senerpont Domis

Bas W. Ibelings

Sven Teurlincx

Damian Chmura



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.


MANTZOUKI, E., LÜRLING, M., FASTNER, J., DE SENERPONT DOMIS, L., IBELINGS, B.W., TEURLINCX, S. and CHMURA, D. 2018. Temperature effects explain continental scale distribution of cyanobacterial toxins. Toxins [online], 10(4), article number 156. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 29, 2018
Online Publication Date Apr 13, 2018
Publication Date Apr 13, 2018
Deposit Date May 8, 2018
Publicly Available Date May 8, 2018
Journal Toxins
Electronic ISSN 2072-6651
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 4
Article Number 156
Keywords Microcystin; Anatoxin; Cylindrospermopsin; Temperature; Direct effects; Indirect effects; Spatial distribution; European multi lake survey
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