Cellamare, M., Leitão, M., Coste, M., Dutartre, A., & Haury, J. (2010). Tropical phytoplankton taxa in Aquitaine lakes (France). Hydrobiologia, 639 (1), 129-145.

In the last decades, numerous exotic species of microalgae have been found in the continental waters of Europe. In three natural shallow lakes located in the southwest of France, several planktonic species typically encountered in tropical areas were observed during 2006 and 2007. The most representative taxa were Planktolyngbya microspira Kom. & Cronb. P. circumcreta (G. S. West) Anagn. & Kom., Cyanodictyon tropicale Senna, Delazari & Sant’Anna and Staurastrum excavatum var. planctonicum Krieg. These species had so far only been reported from African lakes and other tropical areas, but in this study they accounted for up to 58 and 12% of the total abundance and biomass, respectively, during spring and summer. Some of these lakes were studied in the 1970s and only exotic desmids were reported ; but at that time, the three cited cyanobacteria were not described yet. Waterfowl are considered as the main dispersers because they migrate over long distances, transporting algae on the feet and feathers or in the digestive tract. In fact, the Aquitaine Region is one of the main bird migration corridors in Europe. Survival of cyanobacteria, diatoms and desmids carried by birds could be possible due to resting stages, sheaths investments or vegetative cells. In addition, global warming may have contributed to the success of these tropical species in temperate lakes. Indeed, minimal temperatures have increased significantly in the Aquitaine region over the last 30 years and could have played a key role in algal survival through winter.

Keywords : 
Phytoplankton ; Taxonomy ; Tropical taxa ; Bird migration ; Aquitaine lakes ; Climate change