, Volume 764, Issue 1, pp 249–258 | Cite as

Cyanobacterial water bloom of Limnoraphis robusta in the Lago Mayor of Lake Titicaca. Can it develop?

  • Jarka Komárková
  • Haydée Montoya
  • Jiří Komárek


Cyanobacterial blooms are commonly associated with high concentrations of nutrients in waters. An exception among the species forming heavy water blooms is Limnoraphis robusta Komárek et al. (Fottea 13:39–52, 2013). Until now, heavy water blooms of this species were found only in tropical, rather oligotrophic waters. Filaments of L. robusta contain diazocytes and thus are able to fix molecular nitrogen during night. This ability gives L. robusta an advantage over other phytoplankters to explore nitrogen-poor habitats. In 2014, filaments of this cyanobacterium appeared also in plankton and periphyton in the Bay of Puno, Lake Titicaca, Peru. Accessible data on water chemistry, chlorophyll a concentration, and phytoplankton composition were compared with those from Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, where this cyanobacterium formed a thick brownish layer on the water surface in 2008, 2009 and 2011. Except for shallow bays, both lakes (Atitlán and Lago Mayor of Titicaca) are still oligotrophic in some periods, and phytoplankton growth is limited by lack of nitrogen. In this paper, we are discussing factors which might allow development of heavy bloom of this cyanobacterium in the Lago Mayor and other clear parts of the Lake Titicaca.


Titicaca Lake Cyanobacterial water bloom Limnoraphis robusta Diazocytes Atitlán Lake N:P ratio 



This study was realized under the support of the bilateral international collaboration between the Czech Academy of Sciences and CONCYTEC (Peru) 2013–2014. We thank Dr. Gertrud Cronberg, Institute of Limnology, Lund, Sweden, for offering us her unpublished data about the composition of phytoplankton of the Atitlán and Amatitlán lakes from the year 1983. We are indebted to our referees both for comments on the text and helpful cultivation of our English.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jarka Komárková
    • 1
    • 2
  • Haydée Montoya
    • 3
  • Jiří Komárek
    • 2
  1. 1.Biology Centre, Institute of HydrobiologyCzech Academy of SciencesČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of BotanyCzech Academy of SciencesTřeboňCzech Republic
  3. 3.Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos - Museo de Historia NaturalLima 14Peru

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