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Open AccessArticle

Meteorological and Nutrient Conditions Influence Microcystin Congeners in Freshwaters

Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa K1N 6N5, ON, Canada
Aquatic Contaminants Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Montreal H2Y 2E7, QC, Canada
School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon S7N 5C8, SK, Canada
Canada Centre for Inland Waters, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Burlington, ON L7S 1A1, Canada
Department of Biology, University ofWaterloo,Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2019, 11(11), 620;
Received: 1 October 2019 / Revised: 23 October 2019 / Accepted: 23 October 2019 / Published: 26 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Freshwater Algal Toxins: Monitoring and Toxicity Profile)
Cyanobacterial blooms increasingly impair inland waters, with the potential for a concurrent increase in cyanotoxins that have been linked to animal and human mortalities. Microcystins (MCs) are among the most commonly detected cyanotoxins, but little is known about the distribution of different MC congeners despite large differences in their biomagnification, persistence, and toxicity. Using raw-water intake data from sites around the Great Lakes basin, we applied multivariate canonical analyses and regression tree analyses to identify how different congeners (MC-LA, -LR, -RR, and -YR) varied with changes in meteorological and nutrient conditions over time (10 years) and space (longitude range: 77°2′60 to 94°29′23 W). We found that MC-LR was associated with strong winds, warm temperatures, and nutrient-rich conditions, whereas the equally toxic yet less commonly studied MC-LA tended to dominate under intermediate winds, wetter, and nutrient-poor conditions. A global synthesis of lake data in the peer-reviewed literature showed that the composition of MC congeners differs among regions, with MC-LA more commonly reported in North America than Europe. Global patterns of MC congeners tended to vary with lake nutrient conditions and lake morphometry. Ultimately, knowledge of the environmental factors leading to the formation of different MC congeners in freshwaters is necessary to assess the duration and degree of toxin exposure under future global change. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cyanotoxins; microcystin congeners; MC-LA; nutrients; climate; Great Lakes; raw water intake; multivariate statistics; long-term monitoring Cyanotoxins; microcystin congeners; MC-LA; nutrients; climate; Great Lakes; raw water intake; multivariate statistics; long-term monitoring
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MDPI and ACS Style

Taranu, Z.E.; Pick, F.R.; Creed, I.F.; Zastepa, A.; Watson, S.B. Meteorological and Nutrient Conditions Influence Microcystin Congeners in Freshwaters. Toxins 2019, 11, 620.

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