Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Protected freshwater ecosystem with incessant cyanobacterial blooming awaiting a resolution.

Abstract

For 50 years persistent cyanobacterial blooms have been observed in Lake Ludoš (Serbia), a wetland area of international significance listed as a Ramsar site. Cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins can affect many organisms, including valuable flora and fauna, such as rare and endangered bird species living or visiting the lake. The aim was to carry out monitoring, estimate the current status of the lake, and discuss potential resolutions. Results obtained showed: (a) the poor chemical state of the lake; (b) the presence of potentially toxic (genera Dolichospermum, Microcystis, Planktothrix, Chroococcus, Oscillatoria, Woronichinia and dominant species Limnothrix redekei and Pseudanabaena limnetica) and invasive cyanobacterial species Raphidiopsis raciborskii; (c) the detection of microcystin (MC) and saxitoxin (STX) coding genes in biomass samples; (d) the detection of several microcystin variants (MC-LR, MC-dmLR, MC-RR, MC-dmRR, MC-LF) in water samples; (e) histopathological alterations in fish liver, kidney and gills. The potential health risk to all organisms in the ecosystem and the ecosystem itself is thus still real and present. Although there is still no resolution in sight, urgent remediation measures are needed to alleviate the incessant cyanobacterial problem in Lake Ludoš to break this ecosystem out of the perpetual state of limbo in which it has been trapped for quite some time.