F. Pomati from the Department of Aquatic Ecology of EAWAG (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) has recently published a very interesting paper on the effects of toxic substances on phytoplankton populations. Using a CytoSense instrument, he and co-author L. Nizzetto were able to detect transgenerational responses at individual, population and community levels after exposure to different concentrations of TCS. From the abstract:
We found significant changes in community functioning (increased productivity in terms of biovolume and total fluorescence), with maximal effects at 1 lg L-1 TCS. We detected significant and dose-dependent responses on population traits, such as changes in abundance for several populations, increased average size and fluorescence of cells, and strong changes in within-population trait mean and variance (suggesting micro-evolutionary effects).