Competitiveness of invasive and native cyanobacteria from temperate freshwaters under various light and temperature conditions

Some tropical cyanobacteria have spread to temperate freshwaters during the last decades. To evaluate their further development in temperate lakes, we studied the temperature- and light-dependent growth of three invasive (Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, Anabaena bergii and Aphanizomenon aphanizomenoides) and three native (Aphanizomenon gracile, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Anabaena macrospora) cyanobacterial species (Nostocales) from German lakes. We also included one potentially invasive (Aphanizomenon ovalisporum) Nostocales species. We conducted semi-continuous culture experiments and a microcosm experiment along a natural light gradient. Temperature data were used to design a model to simulate the development of selected species according to three temperature scenarios (past, present and future). Native species had significantly higher growth rates than invasive species and the potential invader A. ovalisporum at low temperatures (<= 10 °C), while the opposite was true at high temperatures (>= 35 °C). Maximum growth rates of A. ovalisporum, A. aphanizomenoides and C. raciborskii were clearly higher than those of A. bergii and the native species. Regarding light-dependent growth, significant differences were found between single species but not between all native and invasive species. The model simulation demonstrates a shift in dominance from the native A. gracile in the historic scenario to C. raciborskii populations in the future scenario, in which also the potential invader A. ovalisporum is able to establish populations in temperate lakes. Our findings suggest that any further temperature increase would promote the growth and development of Nostocales species in general, and that of the invasive species in particular, and would enable a more northward expansion of A. ovalisporum.

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