Cyanobacteria are present in all lakes, but when conditions are favorable they can multiply (bloom) and take over the lake ecosystem, especially in the summer. We can see this change in cyanobacteria over time by studying their remnants in lake sediment cores,. Pigments produced by the cyanobacteria have been studied for decades, while more recent methods target DNA from cyanobacteria directly. Both techniques can inform us about historical levels of cyanobacteria, and whether they used to be as high as they are now… BUT there are pro’s and con’s of both methods.
To learn more, see the latest paper by Maïlys Picard and colleagues, “Molecular and Pigment Analyses Provide Comparative Results When Reconstructing Historic Cyanobacterial Abundances from Lake Sediment Cores”, published in Microorganisms last week!