Light-dominated selection shaping filamentous cyanobacterial assemblages drives odor problem in a drinking water reservoir


Abstract

Filamentous cyanobacteria have substantial niche overlap, and the causal mechanism behind their succession remains unclear. This has practical significance since several filamentous genera are the main producers of the musty odorant 2-methylisoborneol (MIB), which lead to odor problems in drinking water. This study investigates the relationships between two filamentous cyanobacteria, the MIB-producing genus Planktothrix and the non-MIB-producing genus Pseudanabaena, in a drinking water reservoir. We firstly identified their niche characteristics based on a monitoring dataset, combined this information with culture experiments and developed a niche-based model to clarify these processes. The results reveal that the optimal light requirements of Pseudanabaena (1.56 mol m$^{−2}$ d$^{−1}$) are lower than those of Planktothrix (3.67 mol m$^{−2}$ d$^{−1}$); their light niche differentiation led to a fundamental replacement of Planktothrix (2013) by Pseudanabaena (2015) along with MIB decreases in this reservoir during 2013 and 2015. This study suggests that light is a major driving force responsible for the succession between filamentous cyanobacteria, and that subtle niche differentiation may play an important role in shaping the filamentous cyanobacterial assemblages that drives the MIB odor problems in drinking water reservoirs.

Publication
In npj Clean Water
Ming Su
Ming Su
Associate Professor of Environmental Engneering

My research interest is water quality problems in drinking water bodies, with a focus on harmful algal blooms and associated taste & odor problems.

Professor
Jinping Lu
Jinping Lu
Ph. D. Student
Tengxin Cao
Tengxin Cao
Ph. D. Student
Jianwei Yu
Professor of Environmental Engineering
Min Yang
Min Yang
Professor of Environmental Engneering, Vice Director of RCEES, CAS