Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 1349–1358 | Cite as

Bioremediation potential of Palmaria palmata and Chondrus crispus (Basin Head): effect of nitrate and ammonium ratio as nitrogen source on nutrient removal

  • Peter Corey
  • Jang K. Kim
  • Jim DustonEmail author
  • David J. Garbary
  • Balakrishnan Prithiviraj


Palmaria palmata and Chondrus crispus were grown for 4 weeks in 1-L flasks at 10 °C to evaluate nutrient uptake and their potential application as nutrient biofilters in effluent from finfish culture. For greatest bioremediation benefit within an integrated system, we conclude that a seaweed biofilter using these species should be placed prior to bacterial biofiltration for exposure to greater proportions of ammonium than nitrate, though it is apparent that the productivity of both species is not influenced by the nitrogen source. Five combinations of ammonium– and nitrate–nitrogen were compared, each with a total N concentration of 300 μM (300:0, 270:30, 150:150, 30:270, 0:300). Molar nitrogen/phosphorus ratio was 10:1. The maximum growth rates were 8.9 and 6.0 % per day for P. palmata and C. crispus, respectively. For both species, the total nitrogen uptake was highest at 300 μM ammonium, 4.46 mgN gDW−1 day−1 for P. palmata and 3.40 mg N  g DW−1 day−1 for C. crispus. Over a 24-h period, 23–37 % of the available nitrate and 91–100 % of the available ammonium were taken up by P. palmata. In the same period, C. crispus took up 55–87 % of available nitrate and 89–100 % of ammonium. Tissue N in P. palmata was highest (4.1 %) at 270 and 300 μM ammonium, while the nitrogen source did not have a significant effect on the tissue N of C. crispus (mean of 4.6 %).


Ammonium Bioremediation Chondrus Land-based integrated multi-trophic aquaculture Nitrate Palmaria Rhodophyta 



We thank S. O’Leary, National Research Council for donation of Basin Head Chondrus, and Yichen Sun (Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture) for technical assistance. 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 Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Corey
    • 1
  • Jang K. Kim
    • 2
  • Jim Duston
    • 3
    Email author
  • David J. Garbary
    • 4
  • Balakrishnan Prithiviraj
    • 5
  1. 1.Scotian Halibut LtdWood’s HarbourCanada
  2. 2.Department of Marine SciencesUniversity of ConnecticutStamfordUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant and Animal Sciences, Faculty of AgricultureDalhousie UniversityTruroCanada
  4. 4.Department of BiologySt. Francis Xavier UniversityAntigonishCanada
  5. 5.Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of AgricultureDalhousie UniversityTruroCanada

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