25 Oct 2018

CIIMAR studies the impact of temperature in the distribution of toxic Cyanobacteria

Regarding the possible climate change scenarios, 369 European lakes were studied by an international team of researchers from 104 institutions and 27 European countries to assess the impact of temperature on the occurrence of toxic cyanobacteria in waterbodies throughout Europe. The action called CYANOCOST, carried out within COST framework action, had the collaboration of FCUP and CIIMAR-UP.


The work carried out by researchers Vitor Vasconcelos (FCUP/CIIMAR-UP), Micaela Vale and João Morais (CIIMAR-UP) led to the publication of a database in the journal Scientific Data1 from the Nature group. This database moved another open access publication in the journal Toxins. In the whole, these two works presented one of the most exhaustive studies on the cyanobacterial problem worldwide and allowed to conclude that the direct and indirect effects of temperature are the main engines of the spatial distribution of cyanotoxins, their total concentration and the concentration per cell.


In Portugal, the work done by Vitor Vasconcelos (CIIMAR-UP) since 1990 led to the development of a national plan of monitoring of cyanobacteria and toxins in fresh waters and its inclusion in national legislation water analyze for human consumption as well as water used for recreational purposes.


However, the potential of this study is wide as it will serve as a basis for analyzing the evolution of cyanobacteria and their toxins in different scenarios of global changes, specifically with respect to the predicted increase in global temperature. The results obtained in this will allow evaluating the risks of expansion of some toxins affecting human and other animals health.