This paper presents the results of ultrastructural studies and ecological aspects of some phytoplankton species belonging to the groups of cyanobacteria (Planktothrix rubescens, Synechocystis aquatilis) and green algae (Desmodesmus grahneisii). Specimens were collected during summertime from the mesotrophic and stratified Lake Holzmaar (Western Germany) as planktonic forms from the pelagic zone. The highest cyanobacterium concentration was detected in the metalimnion, where the alkaline pH, low phosphorus and high nitrogen contents were recorded. P. rubescens was characterized by straight filaments up to 1000 μm long and 5.4-8 μm wide and numerous aerotopes in cells. The accompanying algae were identified by ultrastructural analysis and photographic documentation was provided. In the case of D. grahneisii, chloroplast was situated in the parietal part of cell, with one large, oval pyrenoid and, in addition, the granular and spiny cell wall was an important taxonomical criterium for the Desmodesmus genus. This is in contrast with the cyanobacterium S. aquatilis, in which a homogeneous content with visible chromatoplasma was mostly distributed throughout the cell. This algal association was stable in the epilimnion characterized by the presence of high temperature, pH values (>8), nitrate nitrogen and oxygen concentrations
In Europe the monitoring of lakes with regard to benthic diatoms is still conducted in line with the European Water Framework Directive. Ribbon lakes are a special case as extremely steep slopes of the lake basin cause their littoral zone to be narrow. The Durowskie ribbon lake was chosen as a model for the assessment of the ecological status of waters based on its Diatom Index. Given its use in recreation, it is under heavy anthropogenic pressure. Physicochemical and biological parameters were monitored in the peak of the vegetational season (July, August) between 2010 and 2018 at 12 varied littoral sites across the full length of the shoreline. This long-term analysis of the Diatom Index, despite showing an improvement in the quality of water, demonstrated the ecological state of Lake Durowskie to be weak (southern, deep part) to moderate (north, shallow part). The taxonomic structure of diatoms (referral and indicator taxa) in phytobenthos communities allowed to show the changes in physicochemical parameters of the environment such as pH, oxygen dissolved in water and its trophic status. Research results are shown in relation to the anthropogenic changes to the lake’s direct catchment area and the results of the physicochemical monitoring of waters.
Algological investigations were focused on taxonomy, chorology and ecology of threatened filamentous green alga species in Poland. Studies on Oedogonium capillare Kützing ex Hirn growing in large quantities in association with Cladophora rivularis (Linnaeus) Hoek in pond were conducted. The aim of these studies was to describe the distribution, ecology and morphology of O. capillare as part of a more comprehensive study of this filamentous green alga. It is the eighth record in Poland for O. capillare. Filaments of O. capillare were grown over a wide pH range (7.3-9.6) and in high variability of nutrients. Vegetative cells, oogonia and antheridia were observed, which allowed taxonomic identification. O. capillare occurs in eutrophic waters which requires protection of its habitat.
Qualitative analyses of nitrogen and phosphorus loads reaching the lake ecosystem provide a basis for pollution control, which is of paramount importance in shallow lakes due to the rapid turn-over of matter and energy. The studies of both external and internal loading were conducted in Lake Łeknenskie, a very shallow, through-flow lake situated in Western Poland. Strong eutrophication is manifested in rich rush vegetation and a lack of submerged macrophytes as well as nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations (max 13.04 mg N dm−3 and 0.32 mg P dm−3, respectively). Constant domination of cyanobacteria in the phytoplankton community was noted in almost all seasons with a 98% share in summer, resulting in 20 cm water transparency and 223 μg dm−3 of chlorophyll-a. The zooplankton community was dominated by rotifers. The main source of nutrients was the River Nielba. Spatial external nutrient loading was 1.93 g P m−2 yr−1 and 77.55 g N m−2 yr−1. An even higher load of phosphorus was released from the bottom sediments, 2.18 g P m−2 yr−1. A comprehensive action plan is required, aiming at the reduction of both external and internal nutrient loading. A series of solutions regarding local environmental conditions should be applied in the lake catchment, including biogeochemical barriers, denitrification walls, artificial retention basins or wetlands, but most of all – improvement in the functioning of the wastewater treatment plant. Restoration is possible, however, protection measures reducing external loading should be undertaken prior to phosphorus inactivation in the water column and in the bottom sediments, supported by biological methods e.g. biomanipulation.
Getting to know the response of different groups of aquatic organisms tested in altered thermal environments to environmental conditions makes it possible to understand processes of adaptation and limitation factors such as temperature and light. Field sites were located in three thermally abnormal lakes (cooling system of power plants), in eastern part of Wielkopolska region (western Poland): Pątnowskie, Wąsosko-Mikorzyńskie and Licheńskie. Water temperatures of these lakes do not fall below 10°C throughout the year, and the surface water temperature in spring is about 20˚C. In this study, we investigated the species structure of the spring phytoplankton community in a temperature gradient and analyzed diversity of periphyton collected from alien species (Vallisneria spiralis) and stones. 94 taxa belonging to 56 genera of algae (including phytoplankton and periphyton) were determined. The highest number of algae species were observed among Chlorophyta (49), Bacillariophyceae (34) and Cyanobacteria (6). In spite of important differences in temperature in the investigated lakes, taxonomic composition of phytoplankton was comparable. Thermophilic species: Glochidinium penardiforme and Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii were found in the species structure (blooms were not observed). The obtained data also showed that the biotic surface of Vallisneria spiralis was a better substrate for Bacillariophyceae colonization than stones. The examination in the spring season of these thermally altered lakes, indicated the taxonomic composition of phytoplankton typical for eutrophic reservoirs (not heated). There was no replacement of any phytoplankton groups which are characteristic for spring conditions, even if there were changes in the competition dynamics.
‘Algae Service for LIFE’, the project supported by the European Union, seeks to promote best practices in ecological service and the circular economy by implementing innovative complex system of three interlinked elements: i) prototypes for harvesting of cyanobacteria and macroalgae biomass; ii) distant methods for surveying of the blooms and defining hot-spots of algal agglomerations; and iii) restitution of harvesting costs by redesigning of waste algal biomass into valuable products. The current paper describes application of algal biomass part of the project by providing actions in redesigning of harvested waste biomass of cyanobacteria and macroalgae into potential valuable products for sustainable management and recycling of environmental resources. It also highlights the socio-economic aspects of the project and added value of the project for the European Union.
EU international project of LIFE programme “Algae Service for LIFE” seeks to promote best practices in ecological service and development of circular economy. The goal of the project is to demonstrate integrated efficient management of nutrients and nuisance algal blooms at the catchment scale by harvesting cyanobacteria scums and macroalgae mats in various types of water bodies (rivers, lakes and estuarine lagoon). Also, it seeks to raise awareness of the national and local authorities, business community and society on the environmental, water quality and health hazard issues. The paper provides the idea of applying ecological measures to control algal blooms. Thus, issues related to the causes and mechanisms of eutrophication in inland freshwaters as well as to consequences such as algal blooms are highlighted. The measures proposed in the project are briefly discussed in the light of European Union directives.