Cyanobacterial blooms in estuarine ecosystems: characteristics and effects on Laeonereis acuta (Polychaeta, Nereididae)

Rosa, Carlos Eduardo da; Souza, Márcio Silva de; Yunes, João Sarkis; Proença, Luis Antonio de Oliveira; Nery, Luiz Eduardo Maia; Monserrat, José María


In January of 2003, a cyanobacterial bloom in the Patos Lagoon (Southern Brazil) (32 050S–52 120W) was observed. Water samples were taken to identify the composition and abundance of the bloom, as well as the occurrence of toxins. The effects of this occurrence on the estuarine worm Laeonereis acuta (Polychaeta, Nereididae) was also evaluated. Predominance of cyanobacteria, particularly Anabaena trichomes ( 2.5.106 individuals per liter) was observed, and low concentrations of microcystins and anticholinesterasic toxins were detected. Augmented levels of lipid hydroperoxides (LPO) and glutathione-S-transferase activity, and lowering of total protein content were also observed in organisms collected during the bloom event. Although non-toxic, the cyanobacterial bloom could augment the cycle of hyper-oxygenation and hypoxia in the water. During hyperoxia, L. acuta, an oxyconformer, should consume more oxygen, thus augmenting the rate of reactive oxygen species generation. A repeated cycle of hyperoxygenation and hypoxia would finally induce oxidative stress, as evidenced by the high levels of LPO and glutathione-S-transferase activity.

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