Data : Role of potentially toxic cyanobacteria in crustacean zooplankton diet in a eutrophic lake
Jones, Roger I.
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Raw data for the article "Role of potentially toxic cyanobacteria in crustacean zooplankton diet in a eutrophic lake"The coexistence of potentially toxic bloom-forming cyanobacteria (CY) and generally smaller-sized grazer communities has raised the question of zooplankton (ZP) ability to control harmful cyanobacterial blooms and highlighted the need for species-specific research on ZP-CY trophic interactions in naturally occurring communities. A combination of HPLC, molecular and stable isotope analyses was used to assess in situ the importance of CY as a food source for dominant crustacean ZP species and to quantify the grazing on potentially toxic strains of Microcystis during bloom formation in large eutrophic Lake Peipsi (Estonia). Aphanizomenon, Dolichospermum, Gloeotrichia and Microcystis dominated bloom-forming CY, while Microcystis was the major genus producing cyanotoxins all over the lake. Grazing studies showed that CY, and especially colonial CY, formed a significant, and also preferred component of algae ingested by the cladocerans Bosmina spp. and Daphnia spp. while this was not the case for the more selective calanoid copepod Eudiaptomus gracilis. Molecular analyses confirmed the presence of CY, including Microcystis, in ZP guts. Further analyses using qPCR targeting cyanobacterial genus-specific mcyE synthase genes indicated that potentially toxic strains of Microcystis can be ingested directly or indirectly by all the dominant crustacean grazers. However, stable isotope analyses indicated that little, if any, assimilation from ingested bloom-forming CY occurred. The study suggests that CY, and particularly Microcystis with both potentially toxic and non-toxic strains, can be widely ingested by cladoceran grazers during a bloom event with implications for control of CY abundance and for transfer of CY toxins through the food web.