PRESENCE AND PERSISTENCE OF THE CYANOTOXIN MICROCYSTIN IN AQUATIC AND RIPARIAN CONSUMERS.
The occurrence of harmful algal blooms has resulted in growing world-wide concern about threats to aquatic life and human health. Microcystin (MC), a cyanotoxin, is the most widely reported algal toxin in freshwaters. Prior studies have documented the ‘biotransport’ of contaminants such as mercury and PCBs from aquatic systems to riparian food webs via emerging insects. In this presentation, we provide evidence for a similar mechanism by which algal toxins propagate into riparian food webs. We show that MC is present in emerging aquatic insects (Hexagenia Mayfly) from the James River Estuary and their consumers (Tetragnathidae Spider, Prothonotary Warbler; Protonotaria citrea). MC levels in Prothonotary Warblers varied by age class, with nestlings having the highest levels. At the site where nestlings received a higher proportion of aquatic prey (i.e., mayflies) in their diet, we observed higher MC concentrations in liver tissue and fecal matter. Warbler body condition and growth rate were not related to liver MC levels suggesting that aquatic prey may provide dietary benefits which offset potential deleterious effects of the toxin. This study provides evidence that threats posed by algal toxins extend beyond the aquatic environments in which blooms occur.
Bukaveckas, P. A., Virginia Commonwealth University, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Moy, N. J., Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Dodson, J., Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Tassone, S. J., Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Bulluck, L. P., Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Location: 323 B
Presentation is given by student: No