Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 363–373 | Cite as

The seasonal variation in the chemical composition of the kelp species Laminaria digitata, Laminaria hyperborea, Saccharina latissima and Alaria esculenta

  • Peter Schiener
  • Kenneth D. BlackEmail author
  • Michele S. StanleyEmail author
  • David H. Green


The seasonal chemical profiling of kelp species has historically either being carried out on only a single species or the data dates back over 60 years. This research highlights a detailed chemical composition profile of the four kelp species Laminaria digitata, Laminaria hyperborea, Saccharina latissima and Alaria esculenta over a 14-month period. These kelp species were selected due to their identified potential for cultivation. They were chemically characterised to identify seasonal variations and predict best harvest times. Components of interest included the carbohydrates cellulose, laminarin, alginate and mannitol as well as proteins, ash, metals, moisture, polyphenolics, total carbon and nitrogen content. The highest yields of lamianrin and mannitol coincided with the lowest yields in ash, protein, moisture and polyphenols. The implications of these observations for use of kelp species as a fermentation substrate are discussed.


Laminaria spp Saccharina latissima Alaria esculenta Chemical composition analysis Seasonal variation Seaweed biofuels 



The authors acknowledge funding for the BioMara project ( by the European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG IVA Programme, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Crown Estate, Northern Ireland Executive, Scottish Government and Irish Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scottish Association for Marine ScienceScottish Marine InstituteObanUK

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