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Article

Increases in Picocyanobacteria Abundance in Agriculturally Eutrophic Pampean Lakes Inferred from Historical Records of Secchi Depth and Chlorophyll-a

1
Laboratorio de Ecología Acuática, Instituto Tecnológico de Chascomús (INTECH), Chascomús CC 164 (B7130IWA), Argentina
2
Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMYC), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, CONICET, Mar del Plata 7600, Argentina
3
Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolución, IEGEBA (UBA-CONICET), Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1428, Argentina
4
GESAP (Grupo de Ecología de Sistemas Acuáticos a Escala de Paisaje), INIBIOMA (UNComahue—CONICET), San Carlos de Bariloche 8400, Argentina
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Renata Augustyniak, Jolanta Grochowska and Hanna Siwek
Water 2022, 14(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020159
Received: 30 November 2021 / Revised: 28 December 2021 / Accepted: 30 December 2021 / Published: 7 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lake Eutrophication: Causes, Monitoring and Restoration)
Phytoplankton size structure has profound consequences on food-web organization and energy transfer. Presently, picocyanobacteria (size < 2 µm) represent a major fraction of the autotrophic plankton of Pampean lakes. Glyphosate is known to stimulate the development of picocyanobacteria capable of degrading the herbicide. Due to the worldwide adoption of glyphosate-resistant crops, herbicide usage has increased sharply since the mid-1990s. Unfortunately, there are very few studies (none for the Pampa region) reporting picocyanobacteria abundance before 2000. The proliferation of µm sized particles should decrease Secchi disc depth (ZSD). Therefore ZSD, conditional to chlorophyll-a, may serve as an indicator of picocyanobacteria abundance. We use generalized additive models (GAMs) to analyze a “validation” dataset consisting of 82 records of ZSD, chlorophyll-a, and picocyanobacteria abundance from two Pampean lakes surveys (2009 and 2015). In support of the hypothesis, ZSD was negatively related to picocyanobacteria after accounting for the effect of chlorophyll-a. We then fitted a “historical” dataset using hierarchical GAMs to compare ZSD conditional to chlorophyll-a, before and after 2000. We estimated that ZSD levels during 2000–2021 were, on average, only about half as deep as those during 1980–1999. We conclude that the adoption of glyphosate-resistant crops has stimulated outbreaks of picocyanobacteria populations, resulting in lower water transparency. View Full-Text
Keywords: underwater light climate; eutrophication; glyphosate; cyanobacteria underwater light climate; eutrophication; glyphosate; cyanobacteria
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zagarese, H.E.; Diovisalvi, N.R.; González Sagrario, M.d.l.Á.; Izaguirre, I.; Fermani, P.; Unrein, F.; Castro Berman, M.; Pérez, G.L. Increases in Picocyanobacteria Abundance in Agriculturally Eutrophic Pampean Lakes Inferred from Historical Records of Secchi Depth and Chlorophyll-a. Water 2022, 14, 159. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020159

AMA Style

Zagarese HE, Diovisalvi NR, González Sagrario MdlÁ, Izaguirre I, Fermani P, Unrein F, Castro Berman M, Pérez GL. Increases in Picocyanobacteria Abundance in Agriculturally Eutrophic Pampean Lakes Inferred from Historical Records of Secchi Depth and Chlorophyll-a. Water. 2022; 14(2):159. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020159

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zagarese, Horacio E., Nadia R. Diovisalvi, María d.l.Á. González Sagrario, Irina Izaguirre, Paulina Fermani, Fernando Unrein, Manuel Castro Berman, and Gonzalo L. Pérez. 2022. "Increases in Picocyanobacteria Abundance in Agriculturally Eutrophic Pampean Lakes Inferred from Historical Records of Secchi Depth and Chlorophyll-a" Water 14, no. 2: 159. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020159

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