Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 441–448 | Cite as

Bioremediation potential of Chondrus crispus (Basin Head) and Palmaria palmata: effect of temperature and high nitrate on nutrient removal

  • P. Corey
  • J. K. Kim
  • D. J. Garbary
  • B. Prithiviraj
  • J. Duston


To evaluate the nutrient removal capabilities of two red macroalgae, apical blades were cultured in the lab for 4 weeks at either 6, 10, or 17°C and nitrate at either 30 or 300 μM, typical of the seasonal range of conditions at a land-based Atlantic halibut farm. Stocking density was 2.0 g L−1, irradiance 125 μmol photons m−2 s−1, photoperiod 16:8 (L:D), and nitrogen to phosphorus ratio 10:1. For both species, the highest growth rate was at 300 μM NO 3 with Palmaria palmata growing fastest at 6°C, 5.8% day−1, and Chondrus crispus growing best at 17°C, 5.5% day−1. Nitrogen and carbon removal by P. palmata was inversely related to temperature, the highest rate at 6°C and 300 μM NO 3 of 0.47 mg N and 6.3 mg C per gram dry weight per day. In contrast, C. crispus removal of N was independent of temperature, with mean removal of 0.49 mgN gDW−1 day−1 at 300 μM NO 3 . The highest carbon removal by C. crispus was 4.4 mgC gDW−1 day−1 at 10°C and 300 μM nitrate, though not significantly different from either 6 or 17°C and 300 μM nitrate. Tissue carbon:nitrogen ratios were >20 in both species at 30 μM nitrate, and all temperatures indicating nitrogen limitation in these treatments. Phycoerythrin content of P. palmata was independent of temperature, with means of 23.6 mg gFW−1 at 300 μM nitrate. In C. crispus, phycoerythrin was different only between 6°C and 17°C at 300 μM nitrate, with the highest phycoerythrin content of 12.6 mg gFW−1 at 17°C. Morphological changes were observed in P. palmata at high NO 3 concentration as curling of the fronds, whilst C. crispus exhibited the formation of bladelets as an effect of high temperature.


Bioremediation Carbon Hippoglossus hippoglossus Integrated aquaculture Nitrogen Phosphate 



We thank S. O’Leary, National Research Council, for donation of Basin Head Chondrus, K. MacRae (NSAC) for technical assistance, and A. Mills for guidance with statistical analysis. This work was funded by a Strategic Project Grant of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to JD, BP and DJG, in collaboration with Scotian Halibut Ltd.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Corey
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. K. Kim
    • 3
  • D. J. Garbary
    • 4
  • B. Prithiviraj
    • 5
  • J. Duston
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant and Animal SciencesNova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC)TruroCanada
  2. 2.Scotian Halibut Ltd.Wood’s HarbourCanada
  3. 3.Department of Marine SciencesUniversity of ConnecticutStamfordUSA
  4. 4.Department of BiologySt. Francis Xavier UniversityAntigonishCanada
  5. 5.Department of Environmental SciencesNova Scotia Agricultural CollegeTruroCanada

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