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Evidence of a Transgenerationally Developed Microcystin Toxin Tolerance in Daphnia magna

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Title: Evidence of a Transgenerationally Developed Microcystin Toxin Tolerance in Daphnia magna
Author: Knight, Alexis
Department: School of Environmental Sciences
Program: Environmental Sciences
Advisor: Sibley, Paul
Abstract: The increased severity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) has diminished aquatic ecosystem health globally. Primary producers are adversely affected by microcystin toxins released during HABs and commonly experience fitness and survival reductions. To assess the effects of multigenerational microcystin exposure, five generations of Daphnia magna were exposed and observed for changes in survival, reproduction, and growth. Microcystins significantly reduced adult sizes, but maternal exposure increased reproduction in re-exposed offspring, indicating development of microcystin tolerance through maternal transfer. Varying exposure showed that frequency impacts tolerance, with multiple exposures positively correlating with reproductive output, and absence of exposure leading to tolerance loss. Concurrent exposure to non-toxic M. aeruginosa confirmed microcystins as the likely sole negative effect source and resulted in increased growth and reproduction in D. magna. This research provides important insights into long-term tolerance dynamics of microcystin exposed D. magna and the nature of future HAB impacts on zooplankton communities.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10214/21266
Date: 2020-09
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