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Roles of Nutrient Limitation on Western Lake Erie CyanoHAB Toxin Production

Institute of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Morehead City, NC 28557, USA
Stone Laboratory and Ohio Sea Grant, The Ohio State University, Put-In-Bay, OH 43456, USA
Department of Chemistry, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry Campus, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
Department of Microbiology, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA
Lake Erie Center, University of Toledo, Oregon, OH 43616, USA
Key Laboratory of Integrated Regulation and Resource Development on Shallow Lakes, Ministry of Education, College of Environment, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 December 2020 / Revised: 4 January 2021 / Accepted: 6 January 2021 / Published: 9 January 2021
Cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom (CyanoHAB) proliferation is a global problem impacting ecosystem and human health. Western Lake Erie (WLE) typically endures two highly toxic CyanoHABs during summer: a Microcystis spp. bloom in Maumee Bay that extends throughout the western basin, and a Planktothrix spp. bloom in Sandusky Bay. Recently, the USA and Canada agreed to a 40% phosphorus (P) load reduction to lessen the severity of the WLE blooms. To investigate phosphorus and nitrogen (N) limitation of biomass and toxin production in WLE CyanoHABs, we conducted in situ nutrient addition and 40% dilution microcosm bioassays in June and August 2019. During the June Sandusky Bay bloom, biomass production as well as hepatotoxic microcystin and neurotoxic anatoxin production were N and P co-limited with microcystin production becoming nutrient deplete under 40% dilution. During August, the Maumee Bay bloom produced microcystin under nutrient repletion with slight induced P limitation under 40% dilution, and the Sandusky Bay bloom produced anatoxin under N limitation in both dilution treatments. The results demonstrate the importance of nutrient limitation effects on microcystin and anatoxin production. To properly combat cyanotoxin and cyanobacterial biomass production in WLE, both N and P reduction efforts should be implemented in its watershed. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyanotoxins; Maumee Bay; Sandusky Bay; Microcystis; Planktothrix; microcystin; anatoxin cyanotoxins; Maumee Bay; Sandusky Bay; Microcystis; Planktothrix; microcystin; anatoxin
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Figure 1

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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.4281127
    Description: The following are available online at, Table S1: Chlorophyll a data, Table S2: Chlorophyll a production rates, Table S3: Microcystin data, Table S4: Biomass-normalized microcystin data, Table S5: Microcystin production rates, Table S6: Biomass-normalized microcystin production rates, Table S7: Anatoxin data, Table S8: Biomass-normalized anatoxin data, Table S9: Anatoxin production rates, Table S10: Biomass-normalized anatoxin production rates, Table S11: GPS coordinates of the Western Lake Erie sampling sites, Table S12: Compounds comprising the major ion solution. The following are available online at, Code used to produce Figures 2-7, importable data file formatted for the code, Key to the importable data file.
MDPI and ACS Style

Barnard, M.A.; Chaffin, J.D.; Plaas, H.E.; Boyer, G.L.; Wei, B.; Wilhelm, S.W.; Rossignol, K.L.; Braddy, J.S.; Bullerjahn, G.S.; Bridgeman, T.B.; Davis, T.W.; Wei, J.; Bu, M.; Paerl, H.W. Roles of Nutrient Limitation on Western Lake Erie CyanoHAB Toxin Production. Toxins 2021, 13, 47.

AMA Style

Barnard MA, Chaffin JD, Plaas HE, Boyer GL, Wei B, Wilhelm SW, Rossignol KL, Braddy JS, Bullerjahn GS, Bridgeman TB, Davis TW, Wei J, Bu M, Paerl HW. Roles of Nutrient Limitation on Western Lake Erie CyanoHAB Toxin Production. Toxins. 2021; 13(1):47.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Barnard, Malcolm A., Justin D. Chaffin, Haley E. Plaas, Gregory L. Boyer, Bofan Wei, Steven W. Wilhelm, Karen L. Rossignol, Jeremy S. Braddy, George S. Bullerjahn, Thomas B. Bridgeman, Timothy W. Davis, Jin Wei, Minsheng Bu, and Hans W. Paerl 2021. "Roles of Nutrient Limitation on Western Lake Erie CyanoHAB Toxin Production" Toxins 13, no. 1: 47.

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