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Toxic Cyanobacteria Impacts on a Eutrophic and Protected Natural Ecosystem (Vela Lagoon)  †

CIIMAR—Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, University of Porto, Terminal de Cruzeiros Porto de Leixões, Avenida General Norton de Matos S/N, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre S/N, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the 7th Iberian Congress on Cyanotoxins/3rd Iberoamerican Congress on Cyanotoxins, Ponta Delgada, Portugal, 18–20 July 2022.
Presenting author (oral communication).
Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 14(1), 7;
Published: 18 July 2022


Toxic cyanobacteria naturally inhabit freshwater resources. The Vela Lagoon is a Natura 2000 protected site located near the Atlantic Ocean and in the central region of Portugal and has well-established recreational impacts. in recent years, the Vela Lagoon has been studied for the occurrence of cyanotoxins, and control studies have demonstrated that cylindrospermopsins were found on the water at maximum concentrations of 12 µg/L. Given these assessed impacts and the nature of this protected site, it becomes essential to review the impact of Vela Lagoon cyanotoxins within a longer period of time that includes 12 months between November 2016 and October 2017. The methods used include bloom occurrence and analysis on cyanotoxins, namely the microcystins variants LR, RR, and YR; cylindrospermopsins; anatoxin-a; and saxitoxins, by applying genomics and chemistry methods. The findings revealed that cylindrospermopsins are still a member of the cyanobacteria toxic community of the Vela Lagoon, that anatoxin-a was found to occur in trace amounts on the water fraction and bloom samples, and that microcystins-LR is the only variant found to occur in the Vela Lagoon. Given the two bloom episodes observed during the sampling season, control measures need to be readily implemented in the Vela Lagoon, since the impacts on the multiple cyanotoxins found can constitute a risk to humans who live near this protected site and frequently use this water for domestic irrigation. Finally, this study illustrates that toxic cyanobacteria can also impair water quality in sustainable environments.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, C.M.; methodology, C.M.; software, C.M.; validation, C.M.; formal analysis, C.M.; investigation, C.M.; resources, C.M.; data curation, C.M.; writing—original draft preparation, C.M.; writing—review and editing, V.V. and A.A.; visualization, C.M.; supervision, V.V. and A.A.; project administration, C.M.; funding acquisition, C.M. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research was supported by national funds through FC—Foundation for Science and Technology within the scopes of UIDB/04423/2020 and UIDP/04423/2020 and by the Postdoctoral fellowship to Cristiana Moreira (Ref. SFRH/BPD/122909/2016) from FCT.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Not applicable.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Moreira, C.; Vasconcelos, V.; Antunes, A. Toxic Cyanobacteria Impacts on a Eutrophic and Protected Natural Ecosystem (Vela Lagoon) . Biol. Life Sci. Forum 2022, 14, 7.

AMA Style

Moreira C, Vasconcelos V, Antunes A. Toxic Cyanobacteria Impacts on a Eutrophic and Protected Natural Ecosystem (Vela Lagoon) . Biology and Life Sciences Forum. 2022; 14(1):7.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moreira, Cristiana, Vítor Vasconcelos, and Agostinho Antunes. 2022. "Toxic Cyanobacteria Impacts on a Eutrophic and Protected Natural Ecosystem (Vela Lagoon) " Biology and Life Sciences Forum 14, no. 1: 7.

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