, Volume 680, Issue 1, pp 25–38 | Cite as

The introduced bivalve Limnoperna fortunei boosts Microcystis growth in Salto Grande reservoir (Argentina): evidence from mesocosm experiments

  • Daniel Cataldo
  • Alicia Vinocur
  • Inés O′Farrell
  • Esteban Paolucci
  • Valentín Leites
  • Demetrio Boltovskoy
Primary research paper


In order to assess the effects of the introduced bivalve Limnoperna fortunei on water-column properties of Salto Grande reservoir, experiments were conducted using six 400 L mesocosms: 2 with 100 mussels, 2 with 300 mussels, and 2 controls (without mussels). At 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 days we measured nutrient and chlorophyll a concentrations, counted and identified the phytoplankton, and estimated the density, size, and number of cells of the colonies of Microcystis spp. Cumulative periphyton growth and total accumulated sediments were assessed in all enclosures at the end of the experiment. Throughout the experiment, in the controls ammonia and phosphates dropped to near zero, whereas in the mesocosms with L. fortunei they increased two- to tenfold. Nitrates decreased in all mesocosms. In the presence of the mussel, chlorophyll a and algal cells dropped until day 3 increasing thereafter, whereas in the controls they increased from day 0. Periphyton growth and sediment accumulation were significantly higher in the mesocosms with mussels that in the controls. Cell density, proportion of colonial cells and colony size of Microcystis spp. increased in all enclosures, but these increases were dramatically (and very significantly) higher in enclosures with 100 and, especially, with 300 mussels, than in the controls. Our results indicate that L. fortunei modifies nutrient concentrations and proportions, and promotes aggregation of solitary Microcystis spp. cells into colonies; both these effects can favor blooms of this often noxious cyanobacteria.


Introduced bivalves Microcystis blooms South America Limnoperna fortunei 



This study was supported by grants UBA ×020, PICT 25275 and PICT 01968 to DB. Logistical and economic support for field work and sample and data collection were provided by the Environmental Division of Comisión Técnica Mixta de Salto Grande (Argentina-Uruguay).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Cataldo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Alicia Vinocur
    • 4
  • Inés O′Farrell
    • 1
    • 2
  • Esteban Paolucci
    • 2
    • 3
  • Valentín Leites
    • 5
    • 6
  • Demetrio Boltovskoy
    • 2
    • 3
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales ‘Bernardino Rivadavia’Buenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Departamento Ecología, Genética y Evolución and Departamento Biodiversidad y Biología Experimental, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  5. 5.Comisión Técnica Mixta Salto GrandeConcordiaArgentina
  6. 6.Comisión Técnica Mixta Salto GrandeSaltoUruguay

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