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A new approach to the restoration of seaweed beds using Sargassum fulvellum

A new approach to the restoration of seaweed beds using Sargassum fulvellum
Jung, Sang MokLee, Ji HyunHan, Seung HeeJeon, Won BinKim, Ga YeonKIM, SINYANGKIM, SEONGJULee, Hwa-RimHWANG, DONG SOOJUNG, SUNGJUNELee, JongdaeShin, Hyun Woung
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Kluwer Academic Publishers
Seaweed beds are productive marine ecosystems; they provide habitat and serve as spawning, breeding, and feeding sites for fish and shellfish. Seaweed beds are declining with environmental change and pollution. In affected areas, including “urchin barrens” and those affected by “whitening events,” coralline algae appear, preventing the attachment of seaweed spores to the substrate. Many methods have been used to restore seaweed beds, such as those employing artificial reefs, seaweed ropes, spore bags, and transplanted cultures. However, such efforts are insufficient to overcome the disappearance of seaweed beds from coastal areas. This study examined the use of a new technique that involves encapsulating seaweed zygotes with polysaccharide-like alginates to improve their attachment using the brown alga Sargassum fulvellum, which plays an important role in seaweed forests. We tested the efficacy of encapsulated zygotes using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) panels and concrete bricks in the sea. In the laboratory, the germination percentage of encapsulated Sargassum zygotes was 70% ± 1.6%, similar to the rate of unencapsulated zygotes. In the field experiment, PVC panels and concrete bricks were coated with encapsulated and unencapsulated zygotes; the germination density and growth rates of encapsulated zygotes were 4 (p < 0.001) and 7 times (p < 0.016) greater, respectively, than those of unencapsulated zygotes. The germination density and growth rate of encapsulated zygotes on concrete bricks were also greater. Therefore, encapsulation should increase the attachment of seaweed spores in marine environments.
Article Type
Journal of Applied Phycology, vol. 32, no. 4, page. 2575 - 2581, 2020-09
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