CYLIN Research on Blue Algae

Project title

CYLIN - Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii and Cylindrospermopsin in lakes of the Berlin area - occurrence, causes, consequences

Project initiator

Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (coordination), Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Federal Environment Agency

Project volume

470.000 €

Project start



36 months


Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii, a freshwater cyanobacterium of tropical origin, is increasingly found in temperate regions. Since this species may produce potent toxins such as cylindrospermopsin (CYN) and paralytic shellfish poisons, its occurrence in water bodies used as drinking water sources or for recreation purposes is of major concern. At present, the northernmost populations of C. raciborskii occur in lakes of the Berlin area. Only little is known on its proliferation in this region, and on the lake type that presents the most suitable habitat for the species. A single case study on its seasonal dynamics in two shallow lakes has shown that northern populations differ from tropical ones in their temperature requirements. This project intends to survey the distribution of C. raciborskii, to ascertain and characterize its ecological niche in northern freshwaters, and to evaluate the regulation of its population dynamics. Combined with this, the occurrence and variability of CYN concentrations in relation to cyanobacteria composition and environmental factors shall be analyzed, and CYN producing cyanobacteria shall be identified. The objective of the project is to contribute to a better understanding of the present occurrence and variability of C. raciborskii and CYN in lakes of the Berlin area as well as to generate a basis for the prediction of their further development and the potential risk to humans and the environment.



Dr. Claudia Wiedner (Coordination)
Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
Department of Limnology of Stratified Lakes
Tel: +49 33082 69963

Dr. Bodo Weigert
Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin
Tel: +49 30 53653 841

Financial support: