Seaweed Acclimation to Salinity and Desiccation Stress

  • Ulf Karsten
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 219)


Physiological performance, distribution, and biodiversity of seaweeds are primarily controlled by various environmental factors such as salinity and drought. Fluctuating salinity and desiccation is typically a local rather than a global parameter and can be highly variable in coastal regions. This chapter focuses on the effects of changing salinities and desiccation on physiological processes in seaweeds such as growth, photosynthesis, and respiration as well as on osmotic acclimation. In addition, ultrastructural changes and the development of salinity ecotypes are discussed. Although the principal mechanisms of osmotic acclimation in seaweeds such as ion transport and biosynthesis of organic osmolytes are well understood, the underlying molecular expression and regulation patterns are still mainly unstudied. To overcome this gap in knowledge more genomes of model seaweeds are urgently needed to get a fundamental understanding of salinity and desiccation stress responses.


Salinity Stress Salinity Tolerance Brown Seaweed Seaweed Species Organic Osmolytes 
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.



The author likes to thank many of his colleagues for excellent collaboration on salinity stress in seaweeds over the last two decades, particularly Robert King, Gunter Kirst, Annika Mostaert, John West, and Christian Wiencke, as well as the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for funding various projects.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biological Sciences, Applied EcologyUniversity of RostockRostockGermany

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