Ecosystem impact of large-scale macroalgae cultivation

Annette Bruhn, Teis Boderskov, Morten Foldager Pedersen, Silje Forbord, Bert Groenendaal, Dorte Krause-Jensen, Sanna Matsson, Adrian McLeod, Morten Holtegaard Nielsen, Mette Møller Nielsen, Benny Pycke , Michael Bo Rasmussen, Peter Søndergaard Schmedes, Peter Anton Stæhr, Sanjina Upadhyay, Stiig Markager

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Globally, the interest for macroalgae production for food, feed and biomolecules is increasing. Macroalgae production is also increasingly viewed as an instrument for accelerating ecosystem recovery from coastal eutrophication, as well as for climate mitigation. However, since the impact on the marine environment of large-scale macroalgal cultivation is relatively undocumented, the national authorities are reluctant in giving cultivation licences for production in larger scale and for periods longer than 5 years. The EcoMacro study aims to document the impact of large-scale macroalgae (Saccharina latissima) cultivation on physical, chemical and biological aspects of the marine environment. During a one-week intensive scientific cruise on-board the research vessel AURORA in early summer 2018, a thorough investigation of the marine environment surrounding two Danish macroalgae cultivation sites of 4 and 100 hectares, respectively, was carried out. In-situ parameters investigated were: Physical (hydrodynamics, light, temperature), chemical (salinity, nutrient concentrations, pH, alkalinity, cDOM, TOC, POM) and biological (pelagic chlorophyll a concentrations, macroalgae standing stock, biofouling, eDNA, benthic fauna) parameters. On-board the research vessel, also 24-hour mesocosm studies were performed, investigating in closed systems the dynamics of photosynthesis, respiration, nutrient exchange, and emission of climate gasses of young (one-year) and older (four-year) individuals of the cultivated S. latissima. The cruise was successful in collecting data as planned during the pre-harvest period with maximal biomass standing stock. The results of the cruise are being processed and analysed, and will be presented and discussed in the context of macroalgae production strategies and marine ecosystem management. Conclusions and recommendations for future research and management strategies will be presented
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event23rd International Seaweed Symposium - Jesu, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
Duration: 28 Apr 20193 May 2019


Conference23rd International Seaweed Symposium
Country/TerritoryKorea, Democratic People's Republic of


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