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Article

Ecological Connectivity in Two Ancient Lakes: Impact Upon Planktonic Cyanobacteria and Water Quality

1
Department of Botany, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
2
EYATH SA, Water Supply Division/Drinking Water Treatment Facility, 57008 Nea Ionia, Greece
3
School of Science and Technology, International Hellenic University, 57001 Thermi, Greece
4
Department of Ecology, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
5
Department of Zoology, School of Biology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010018
Received: 29 November 2019 / Revised: 16 December 2019 / Accepted: 16 December 2019 / Published: 19 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancing Knowledge on Cyanobacterial Blooms in Freshwaters)
The ancient lakes Mikri Prespa and Megali Prespa are located in SE Europe at the transnational triangle and are globally recognized for their ecological significance. They host hundreds of flora and fauna species, and numerous types of habitat of conservational interest. They also provide a variety of ecosystem services. Over the last few decades, the two lakes have been interconnected through a surface water channel. In an attempt to explore whether such a management practice might alter the ecological properties of the two lakes, we investigated a series of community metrics for phytoplankton by emphasizing cyanobacteria. Our results demonstrate that the cyanobacterial metacommunity structure was affected by directional hydrological connectivity and high dispersal rates, and to a lesser extent, by cyanobacterial species sorting. Cyanobacterial alpha diversity was twofold in the shallow upstream Lake Mikri Prespa (Simpson index average value: 0.70) in comparison to downstream Lake Megali Prespa (Simpson index average value: 0.37). The cyanobacterial assemblage of the latter was only a strict subset of that in Mikri Prespa. Similarly, beta diversity components clearly showed a homogenization of cyanobacteria, supporting the hypothesis that water flow enhances fluvial translocation of potentially toxic and bloom-forming cyanobacteria. Degrading of the water quality in the Lake Megali Prespa in anticipation of improving that of the Lake Mikri Prespa is an issue of great concern for the Prespa lakes’ protection and conservation. View Full-Text
Keywords: man-made surface water channel; transboundary; nestedness; Balkan; Dolichospermum lemmermannii; Microcystis aeruginosa man-made surface water channel; transboundary; nestedness; Balkan; Dolichospermum lemmermannii; Microcystis aeruginosa
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MDPI and ACS Style

Katsiapi, M.; Genitsaris, S.; Stefanidou, N.; Tsavdaridou, A.; Giannopoulou, I.; Stamou, G.; Michaloudi, E.; Mazaris, A.D.; Moustaka-Gouni, M. Ecological Connectivity in Two Ancient Lakes: Impact Upon Planktonic Cyanobacteria and Water Quality. Water 2020, 12, 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010018

AMA Style

Katsiapi M, Genitsaris S, Stefanidou N, Tsavdaridou A, Giannopoulou I, Stamou G, Michaloudi E, Mazaris AD, Moustaka-Gouni M. Ecological Connectivity in Two Ancient Lakes: Impact Upon Planktonic Cyanobacteria and Water Quality. Water. 2020; 12(1):18. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010018

Chicago/Turabian Style

Katsiapi, Matina; Genitsaris, Savvas; Stefanidou, Natassa; Tsavdaridou, Anastasia; Giannopoulou, Irakleia; Stamou, Georgia; Michaloudi, Evangelia; Mazaris, Antonios D.; Moustaka-Gouni, Maria. 2020. "Ecological Connectivity in Two Ancient Lakes: Impact Upon Planktonic Cyanobacteria and Water Quality" Water 12, no. 1: 18. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010018

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