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PRESENCE AND DIVERSITY OF ALGAL TOXINS IN SUBTROPICAL PEATLAND PERIPHYTON: THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES, USA1
Article first published online: 12 APR 2010
© 2010 Phycological Society of America
Journal of Phycology
Volume 46, Issue 4, pages 674–678, August 2010
How to Cite
Bellinger, B. J. and Hagerthey, S. E. (2010), PRESENCE AND DIVERSITY OF ALGAL TOXINS IN SUBTROPICAL PEATLAND PERIPHYTON: THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES, USA. Journal of Phycology, 46: 674–678. doi: 10.1111/j.1529-8817.2010.00832.x
Received 2 July 2009. Accepted 28 January 2010.
- Issue published online: 2 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 12 APR 2010
- secondary production
Production of toxic secondary metabolites by cyanobacteria, collectively referred to as cyanotoxins, has been well described for eutrophied water bodies around the world. However, cohesive cyanobacterial mats also comprise a significant amount of biomass in subtropical oligotrophic wetlands. As these habitats generally do not support much secondary production, cyanotoxins, coupled with other physiological attributes of cyanobacteria, may be contributing to the minimized consumer biomass. Periphyton from the Florida Everglades has a diverse and abundant cyanobacterial assemblage whose species produce toxic metabolites; therefore, by screening periphyton representative of the greater Everglades ecosystem, six different cyanotoxins and one toxin (domoic acid) produced by diatoms were identified, ranging in content from 3 × 10−9 to 1.3 × 10−6 (g · g−1), with saxitoxin, microcystin, and anatoxin-a being the most common. While content of toxins were generally low, when coupled with the tremendous periphyton biomass (3–3,000 g · m−2), a significant amount of cyanotoxins may be present. While the direct effects of the toxins identified here on the local grazing community need to be determined, the screening process utilized proved effective in showing the broad potential of periphyton to produce a variety of toxins.