Brown algae from genus Cystoseira s.l. form dense underwater forests that represent the most productive areas in the Mediterranean Sea. Due to the combined effects of global and local stressors such as climate change, urbanization, and herbivore outbreaks, there has been a severe decline in brown algal forests in the Mediterranean Sea. Natural recovery of depleted sites is unlikely due to the low dispersal capacity of these species, and efficient techniques to restore such habitats are needed. In this context, the aims of our study were (1) to improve and simplify the current ex situ laboratory protocol for the cultivation of Gongolaria barbata by testing the feasibility of some cost-effective and time-efficient techniques on two donor sites of G. barbata and (2) to evaluate the survival and growth of young thalli during the laboratory phase and during the most critical five months after out-planting. Specifically, the following ex situ cultivation methods were tested: (A) cultivation on clay tiles in mesocosms with culture water prepared by three different procedures (a) filtered seawater with a 0.22 m filter membrane, (b) filtered seawater with a 0.7 m filter membrane (GF), and (c) UV-sterilized water, and (B) cultivation on clay tiles in open laboratory systems. After two weeks, all thalli were fixed to plastic lantern net baskets suspended at a depth of 2 m in the coastal sea (hybrid method), and the algal success was monitored in relation to the different donor sites and cultivation protocol. The satisfactory results of this study indicate that UV-sterilized water is suitable for the cultivation of G. barbata in mesocosm, which significantly reduces the cost of the laboratory phase. This opens the possibility of numerous and frequent algal cultures during the reproductive period of the species. Additionally, if the young thalli remain in the lantern net baskets for an extended period of several months, they can grow significantly in the marine environment without being exposed to pressure from herbivorous fish.

Keep It Simple: Improving the Ex Situ Culture of Cystoseira s.l. to Restore Macroalgal Forests

Annalisa Falace;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Brown algae from genus Cystoseira s.l. form dense underwater forests that represent the most productive areas in the Mediterranean Sea. Due to the combined effects of global and local stressors such as climate change, urbanization, and herbivore outbreaks, there has been a severe decline in brown algal forests in the Mediterranean Sea. Natural recovery of depleted sites is unlikely due to the low dispersal capacity of these species, and efficient techniques to restore such habitats are needed. In this context, the aims of our study were (1) to improve and simplify the current ex situ laboratory protocol for the cultivation of Gongolaria barbata by testing the feasibility of some cost-effective and time-efficient techniques on two donor sites of G. barbata and (2) to evaluate the survival and growth of young thalli during the laboratory phase and during the most critical five months after out-planting. Specifically, the following ex situ cultivation methods were tested: (A) cultivation on clay tiles in mesocosms with culture water prepared by three different procedures (a) filtered seawater with a 0.22 m filter membrane, (b) filtered seawater with a 0.7 m filter membrane (GF), and (c) UV-sterilized water, and (B) cultivation on clay tiles in open laboratory systems. After two weeks, all thalli were fixed to plastic lantern net baskets suspended at a depth of 2 m in the coastal sea (hybrid method), and the algal success was monitored in relation to the different donor sites and cultivation protocol. The satisfactory results of this study indicate that UV-sterilized water is suitable for the cultivation of G. barbata in mesocosm, which significantly reduces the cost of the laboratory phase. This opens the possibility of numerous and frequent algal cultures during the reproductive period of the species. Additionally, if the young thalli remain in the lantern net baskets for an extended period of several months, they can grow significantly in the marine environment without being exposed to pressure from herbivorous fish.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3051178
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