New insights into cyanobacterial blooms and the response of associated microbial communities in freshwater ecosystems

Environ Pollut. 2022 Sep 15:309:119781. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119781. Epub 2022 Jul 13.


Cyanobacterial blooms are important environmental problems in aquatic ecosystems. Researchers have found that cyanobacterial blooms cannot be completely prevented by controlling and/or eliminating pollutants (nutrients). Thus, more in-depth basic research on the mechanism of cyanobacterial blooms is urgently needed. Cyanobacteria, being primordial microorganisms, provide habitats and have various forms of interactions (reciprocity and competition) with microorganisms, thus having a significant impact on themselves. However, little is known about how environmental conditions and microbial communities in both water and sediment jointly affect cyanobacterial blooms or about the co-occurrence patterns and interactions of microbial communities. We investigated changes in environmental factors and microbial communities in water and sediment during different cyanobacterial blooms and revealed their interacting effects on cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria had greater competitive and growth advantages than other microorganisms and had antagonistic and aggressive effects on them when resources (such as nutrients) were abundant. Furthermore, microbial networks from cyanobacterial degradation periods may be more complex and stable than those from bloom periods, with more positive links among the microbial networks, suggesting that microbial community structures strengthen interconnections with each other to degrade cyanobacteria. In addition, we found that sediment-enriched cyanobacteria play a key role in cyanobacterial blooms, and sediment microorganisms promote the nutrient release, further promoting cyanobacterial blooms in the water bodies. The study contributes to further our understanding of the mechanisms for cyanobacterial blooms and microbial community structural composition, co-occurrence patterns, and responses to cyanobacteria. These results can contribute to future management strategies for controlling cyanobacterial blooms in freshwater ecosystems.

Keywords: Co-occurrence patterns; Cyanobacterial bloom; Freshwater ecosystems; Microbiome; Sediment; Water.

MeSH terms

  • Cyanobacteria*
  • Eutrophication
  • Fresh Water / microbiology
  • Lakes
  • Microbiota*
  • Water


  • Water