Modelling seasonal growth and composition of the kelp Saccharina latissima

Abstract

A dynamical model for simulating growth of the brown macroalga Saccharina latissima is described. In addition to wet and dry weights, the model simulates carbon and nitrogen reserves, with variable C/N ratio. In effect, the model can be used to emulate seasonal changes in growth and composition of the alga. Simulation results based on published, environmental field data are presented and compared with corresponding data on growth and composition. The model resolves seasonal growth, carbon and nitrogen content well, and may contribute to the understanding of how seasonal growth in S. latissima depends simultaneously on a combination of several environmental factors: light, nutrients, temperature and water motion. The model is applied to aquaculture problems such as estimating the nutrient scavenging potential of S. latissima and estimating the potential of this kelp species as a raw material for bioenergy production.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank K. Sjøtun for information about sampling dates and K. Sjøtun and Walter de Gruyter GmbH for granting permission to replot the data in Figs. 2a and 3b–d. They also thank M.O. Alver, M.J. Dring, I.H. Ellingsen, S. Forbord, K.I. Reitan and T. Størseth for valuable discussions and comments on the model and earlier versions of the manuscript. Two anonymous referees contributed several remarks that helped in improving the paper.

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Correspondence to Ole Jacob Broch.

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This work was supported by the Norwegian Research Council project number 173527, “Integrated open seawater aquaculture, technology for sustainable culture of high productive areas”.

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Broch, O.J., Slagstad, D. Modelling seasonal growth and composition of the kelp Saccharina latissima . J Appl Phycol 24, 759–776 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-011-9695-y

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Keywords

  • Saccharina latissima
  • Mathematical model
  • Seasonal growth
  • Reserve dynamics
  • Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture
  • Bioenergy