Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 1963–1973 | Cite as

Commercial cultivation and bioremediation potential of sugar kelp, Saccharina latissima, in Danish waters

  • Gonçalo S. Marinho
  • Susan L. Holdt
  • Mads J. Birkeland
  • Irini Angelidaki
5th Congress of the International Society for Applied Phycology


Several seaweed species have been successfully tested for their biofilter potential for integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA). In this study, Saccharina latissima bioremediation potential was assessed over 12 months with respect to the yield, phosphorous (P) and nitrogen (N) content and removal. The experiment took place at two commercial cultivation areas: in close proximity to a blue mussel and fish farm (IMTA) and at a reference site, both situated outside Horsens Fjord in Denmark. The maximum biomass yield over the first growing season was achieved in August (1.08 ± 0.09 and 1.51 ± 0.13 kg fresh weight (FW) m−1) and September (0.92 ± 0.18 and 1.49 ± 0.16 kg FW m−1). Yield was significantly higher at the IMTA compared to the reference site in August (P < 0.05). A second growing season did not improve biofiltration efficiency. The highest N and P removal was achieved in August and September. Again, the IMTA location showed better N and P removal compared with the reference site in August: 5.02–7.02 g N and 0.86–1.23 g P m−1 of cultivation line (P < 0.05). S. latissima shows potential for assimilation and removal of nutrients, particularly nitrogen. Seasonal variations of seaweed biofilter efficiency, condition, and potential applications should be taken into account when evaluating the best suited harvest time. For Horsens Fjord, our results showed that the harvest time should take place in August–September in order to achieve maximum biofiltration efficiency (including N and P in epiphytes). However, for human consumption, it is better to harvest in May when the seaweed is free of epiphytes.


Biofilter Nitrogen removal Phosphorous removal Epiphytes Year-round variation N quota IMTA 



This study was supported/financed by The Danish AgriFish Agency (GUDP)—3405-11-0375. Special thanks are due to the other project partners Danish Aquaculture Organization, Orbicon, TrippleNine, Seaweed Seed Supply/Seaweed Energy Solution, and not least Hjarnø Havbrug A/S that provided practical help and logistics at sea, Cátia Ribeiro for helping out in the laboratory, and valuable comments by Julia Overton.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gonçalo S. Marinho
    • 1
  • Susan L. Holdt
    • 2
  • Mads J. Birkeland
    • 3
  • Irini Angelidaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental EngineeringTechnical University of DenmarkKongens LyngbyDenmark
  2. 2.National Food InstituteTechnical University of DenmarkKongens LyngbyDenmark
  3. 3.DHIHørsholmDenmark

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