Allelopathic potential and ecotoxicity evaluation of gallic and nonanoic acids to prevent cyanobacterial growth in lentic systems: A preliminary mesocosm study.

Didier Techer, Pascal Fontaine, Aline Personne, Sandrine Viot, Marielle Thomas,

The Science of the total environment, January 18, 2016

The increase in anthropogenic nutrient loading affecting many freshwater ecosystems combined with global warming may lead to cyanobacterial blooms on an increasingly frequent basis. Among the various physicochemical and biological methods which have been proposed to rapidly control blue-green algae growth, the use of plant-derived substances such as allelochemicals has gained great interest as an environment-friendly approach. The primary aim of this work was to evaluate the efficiency of gallic and nonanoic acid application to preemptively inhibit cyanobacterial growth in lentic hydrosystems. In order to address the process feasibility under realistic exposure scenarios, thirteen outdoor freshwater mesocosms (unit volume: 3m(3)) were designed, each containing phytoplankton (including local blue-green algae species) and various non-target organisms from higher trophic levels (Physa, Lymnaea, Gammarus, and Scardinius erythrophthalmus). After an 8-week mesocosm stabilization period, a full factorial design based on the presence/absence of gallic acid (GA) and nonanoic acid (NA) (including a control group) was implemented into the exposure tanks. Regular monitoring of major phytoplankton taxa was conducted during a 28-day experiment using an on-line fluorometer. The main results suggested that gallic acid was more efficient than nonanoic acid at limiting cyanobacterial growth at concentrations as low as 1mgL(-1). Successive gallic acid applications (at 1, 2 and 4mgL(-1)) at the early stages of cyanobacterial growth did not allow the complete elimination of blue-green algae from the mesocosms. However, the specificity of the allelopathic effect of gallic acid towards cyanobacteria was compatible with the maintenance of a primary productivity in the treated tanks as indicated by the photoautotrophic growth of other algal taxa. Finally, no biomarker induction signal could be reported in non-target species. Further gallic acid application trials in lentic systems such as small freshwater ponds may help to design innovative allelopathy-based aquatic ecotechnologies.

Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Pubmed Link: 26780141

DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.12.164