Morpho-functionality of Carbon Metabolism in Seaweeds

  • Iván Gómez
  • Pirjo Huovinen
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 219)


Seaweeds are photoautotrophs which dominate benthic marine ecosystems and like other aquatic algae show efficient adaptations to incorporate and process dissolved inorganic carbon. The carbon concentrating mechanisms (CCMs) widely found in seaweeds convert HCO 3 to CO2 enhancing the CO2 environment to RUBISCO, the central photosynthetic enzyme. As a collateral benefit, the high intracellular CO2 levels inhibit photorespiration. Seaweeds can be morphologically complex, and hence, carbon metabolism and its products are functionally integrated in growth patterns. For example, dark-independent carbon fixation pathways (LICF) and translocation along the thallus are relevant processes. As carbon metabolism is regulated by the interplay between environmental and endogenous forces, its involvement in adaptive mechanisms underlying, e.g., biogeographic patterns is being increasingly emphasized. Although there are still important areas that are poorly known, the database on carbon metabolism is a starting point to understand present and future responses of seaweeds to large-scale environmental shifts.


Inorganic Carbon Brown Alga Carbon Fixation Carbon Metabolism Triose Phosphate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y LimnológicasUniversidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile

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