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Assessing the potential for sea-based macroalgae cultivation and its application for nutrient removal in the Baltic Sea


Kotta, J and Raudsepp, U and Szava-Kovats, R and Aps, R and Armoskaite, A and Barda, I and Bergstrom, P and Futter, M and Grondahl, F and Hargrave, M and Jakubowska, M and Janes, H and Kaasik, A and Kraufvelin, P and Kovaltchouk, N and Krost, P and Krost, T and Koivupuu, A and Kotta, I and Lees, L and Loite, S and Maljutenko, I and Nylund, G and Paalme, T and Pavia, H and Purina, I and Rahikainen, M and Sandow, V and Visch, W and Yang, B and Barboza, FR, Assessing the potential for sea-based macroalgae cultivation and its application for nutrient removal in the Baltic Sea, Science of the Total Environment, 839 Article 156230. ISSN 0048-9697 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156230


Marine eutrophication is a pervasive and growing threat to global sustainability. Macroalgal cultivation is a promising circular economy solution to achieve nutrient reduction and food security. However, the location of production hotspots is not well known. In this paper the production potential of macroalgae of high commercial value was predicted across the Baltic Sea region. In addition, the nutrient limitation within and adjacent to macroalgal farms was investigated to suggest optimal site-specific configuration of farms. The production potential of Saccharina latissima was largely driven by salinity and the highest production yields are expected in the westernmost Baltic Sea areas where salinity is >23. The direct and interactive effects of light availability, temperature, salinity and nutrient concentrations regulated the predicted changes in the production of Ulva intestinalis and Fucus vesiculosus. The western and southern Baltic Sea exhibited the highest farming potential for these species, with promising areas also in the eastern Baltic Sea. Macroalgal farming did not induce significant nutrient limitation. The expected spatial propagation of nutrient limitation caused by macroalgal farming was less than 100250 m. Higher propagation distances were found in areas of low nutrient and low water exchange (e.g. offshore areas in the Baltic Proper) and smaller distances in areas of high nutrient and high water exchange (e.g. western Baltic Sea and Gulf of Riga). The generated maps provide the most sought-after input to support blue growth initiatives that foster the sustainable development of macroalgal cultivation and reduction of in situ nutrient loads in the Baltic Sea.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seaweed farming, aquaculture, blue growth, eutrophication control
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - aquaculture
Objective Field:Fisheries - aquaculture not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Visch, W (Dr Wouter Visch)
ID Code:151875
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-08-05
Last Modified:2022-11-17

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