Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 1377–1386 | Cite as

Volatile halocarbon emissions by three tropical brown seaweeds under different irradiances

  • Fiona Seh-Lin Keng
  • Siew-Moi Phang
  • Noorsaadah Abd Rahman
  • Emma C. Leedham
  • Claire Hughes
  • Andrew D. Robinson
  • Neil R. P. Harris
  • John A. Pyle
  • William T. Sturges


The emission rates of eight volatile halogenated compounds by three tropical brown seaweed species collected from Cape Rachado, west coast Peninsular Malaysia, under different irradiances have been determined. A purge-and-trap sample preparation system with a gas chromatograph and mass-selective detector was used to measure a suite of halocarbons released by Sargassum binderi Sonder ex J. Agardh, Padina australis Hauck, and Turbinaria conoides (J. Agardh) Kützing. All species are widely distributed in Peninsular Malaysia, with S. binderi a dominant seaweed species at our survey site. Release of few halocarbons was found to be influenced by irradiance. Correlations were also observed between emission of certain halocarbons with photosynthetic activity, especially bromo-and iodinated compounds (0.6 < r <0.9; p < 0.01) suggesting that environmental factors such as light can affect the release of these volatile halogenated compounds by the seaweeds into the atmosphere. Compared with temperate and polar brown seaweeds, tropical species, such as T. conoides, may emit higher levels of bromoform, CHBr3, and other halocarbons. It is therefore important to investigate the contribution of tropical seaweeds towards the local atmospheric composition of halocarbons.


Brown seaweeds Tropical Volatile halocarbons Emission Irradiance Fv/Fm 



This study was funded by the Universiti Malaya Research Grant (RG043/09SUS), Universiti Malaya Postgraduate Research Grant (PS 255/2009B and PS 302/2010B) and the FRGS Grant No. FP018-2012A. FSLK thanks the Institute of Research Management and Monitoring (IPPP), Universiti Malaya and the University of East Anglia for equipment support. Acknowledgements are also due to Li Lee Chew and Chong Ving Ching for their help with the statistical analysis, Jebri Sulaiman and Syed Azminnudin Syed Azizudin for their assistance throughout the sampling period.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiona Seh-Lin Keng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Siew-Moi Phang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Noorsaadah Abd Rahman
    • 3
  • Emma C. Leedham
    • 4
  • Claire Hughes
    • 5
  • Andrew D. Robinson
    • 6
  • Neil R. P. Harris
    • 6
  • John A. Pyle
    • 6
  • William T. Sturges
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences (IOES)Universiti MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversiti MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceUniversiti MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  4. 4.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK
  5. 5.Environment DepartmentUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  6. 6.Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of ChemistryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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