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Outplanting time and methodologies related to mariculture of the edible kelp Undaria pinnatifida in the Atlantic coast of Spain

Abstract

Little is known about offshore cultivation of the edible seaweed Undaria pinnatifida outside Asian waters. However, currently its commercial cultivation is being considered in the North Western Atlantic coast of Spain (Galicia). The effect of outplanting time and methodologies related to the cultivation of U. pinnatifida in this area was studied. Biomass yield, morphological features, and growth rate were examined on sporophytes outplanted from October to December at the same site in a coastal bay. Experiments were conducted over two years, applying different harvesting and cultivation methods. Results indicate that the most suitable months for outplanting were October and November, with larger biomass production as well as improved sporophyte quality (i.e., morphology). Cultivations from October to December ended when most of the sporophytes had developed sporophylls (reproductive structures) and this occurred between early and late April in all the outplanting trials. The similar harvest time for all plants suggests that harvesting time is not related to outplanting period but should be mainly influenced by the photoperiod. These results suggest a single harvest as the most appropriate method. Moreover, results also showed that cultivation was successful using the two tested methods: seedling string all along the culture rope and seedling strings inserted at regular intervals into the rope. Finally, this paper also discusses the suitability of two different systems of offshore farming: in long-line and in vertical rope.

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Acknowledgments

This research has been developed in the framework of the projects AGL2002-01285 funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnologia (MCyT) of Spanish government. Thanks to University of A Coruña and to Provincial Council of A Coruña for awarding a research fellowships to support this study. Gratitude is extended to PORTO-MUIÑOS edible seaweed selling company (A Coruña, Spain) and to all the members of the project, particularly to the Coordinator, Dr. J. Cremades (University of A Coruña). We are very grateful to the INTECMAR (Instituto Tecnolóxico para o Control do Medio Mariño de Galicia, Xunta de Galicia) for providing seawater temperature data from 2002 to 2003. Special thanks to W. Isbert, C. Orejas and N. Sánchez for their time and advice that greatly improved the manuscript and to Dr. A. Secilla for his assistance in elaboration of the figures. Finally, the authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions, which contributed to improve the paper.

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Correspondence to César Peteiro.

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Peteiro, C., Freire, Ó. Outplanting time and methodologies related to mariculture of the edible kelp Undaria pinnatifida in the Atlantic coast of Spain. J Appl Phycol 24, 1361–1372 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-012-9788-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-012-9788-2

Keywords

  • Biomass yield
  • Harvesting
  • Offshore culture system
  • Outplanting window
  • Atlantic Spanish coast
  • Undaria pinnatifida