Toxic cyanobacteria blooms are increasing in magnitude and frequency worldwide. However, this issue has not been adequately addressed in Malaysia. Therefore, this study aims to better understand eutrophication levels, cyanobacteria diversity, and microcystin concentrations in ten Malaysian freshwater lakes. The results revealed that most lakes were eutrophic, with total phosphorus and total chlorophyll-a concentrations ranging from 15 to 4270 µg L−1 and 1.1 to 903.1 µg L−1, respectively. Cyanobacteria were detected in all lakes, and identified as Microcystis spp., Planktothrix spp., Phormidium spp., Oscillatoria spp., and Lyngbya spp. Microcystis spp. was the most commonly observed and most abundant cyanobacteria recorded. Semi-quantitative microcystin analysis indicated the presence of microcystin in all lakes. These findings illustrate the potential health risk of cyanobacteria in Malaysia freshwater lakes, thus magnifying the importance of cyanobacteria monitoring and management in Malaysian waterways.
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This research was funded by Sultan Idris Education University and Malaysia Ministry of Education under University Research Grant (2012-116-108-01) and Research Acculturation Grant Scheme (2013-0002-101-72). We would like to thank everyone who was directly or indirectly involved in this research. We also would like to thank Shari Gallop for her help in the editing of the manuscript.
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