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From Tasmania to the world: long and strong traditions in seaweed use, research, and development


Hurd, CL and Wright, JT and Layton, C and Strain, EMA and Britton, D and Visch, W and Barrett, N and Bennett, S and Chang, KJL and Edgar, G and Fitton, JH and Greeno, D and Jameson, I and Johnson, CR and Karpiniec, SS and Kraft, GT and Ling, SD and MacLeod, CK and Paine, ER and Park, A and Sanderson, C and Schmid, M and Scott, FJ and Shelamoff, V and Stringer, DN and Tatsumi, M and White, CA and Willis, A, From Tasmania to the world: long and strong traditions in seaweed use, research, and development, Botanica Marina pp. 1-36. ISSN 0006-8055 (2023) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1515/bot-2022-0061


Tasmania is an island state in south-eastern Australia that has a long and rich history of seaweed use, research, and development. It is a cool-temperate system with 750 macroalgal species currently described. Tasmanian Aboriginal peoples have lived on this land for at least 40,000 years utilising seaweed as food, shelter, water carriers and medicine, as well as for ceremonial reasons. Modern taxonomic investigations began with French naturalist Jacques-Julien Houtou de La Billardière in 1791, and there are 184 type specimens of seaweeds originating from Tasmania. Ecological and physiological studies of seaweed in Tasmania have focussed on the dominant large brown seaweeds (Laminariales and Fucales) and have contributed significantly to the global understanding of these systems, particularly related to community resilience, seaweed-urchin interactions, their habitat-forming role for other species, responses to global change, and restoration of lost habitat. Ocean warming and changing oceanography have caused a 95% decline in surface canopy cover of Macrocystis pyrifera in eastern Tasmania since the 1950s and led to a focus on restoring these lost forests. Tasmanian seaweed communities have a uniquely high proportion (up to ∼90%) of seaweeds that rely solely on CO2 for photosynthesis, which has implications for responses to ocean acidification. Tasmania has industries that use brown seaweeds for fucoidan extraction and beach-cast harvest for alginates, fertilisers, and feeds for agriculture. New aquaculture initiatives include integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, offshore kelp mariculture and Asparagopsis cultivation for bioactive products to reduce methane emissions in ruminants, as and the development of unexploited species including Caulerpa spp. for food.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seaweed, Tasmania, aquaculture, ecology, ocean global change, physiology, taxonomy
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine systems and management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hurd, CL (Professor Catriona Hurd)
UTAS Author:Wright, JT (Associate Professor Jeffrey Wright)
UTAS Author:Layton, C (Dr Cayne Layton)
UTAS Author:Strain, EMA (Dr Beth Strain)
UTAS Author:Britton, D (Dr Damon Britton)
UTAS Author:Visch, W (Dr Wouter Visch)
UTAS Author:Barrett, N (Associate Professor Neville Barrett)
UTAS Author:Bennett, S (Dr Scott Bennett)
UTAS Author:Edgar, G (Professor Graham Edgar)
UTAS Author:Greeno, D (Mr Dean Greeno)
UTAS Author:Johnson, CR (Professor Craig Johnson)
UTAS Author:Ling, SD (Dr Scott Ling)
UTAS Author:MacLeod, CK (Professor Catriona MacLeod)
UTAS Author:Paine, ER (Mrs Ellie Paine)
UTAS Author:Sanderson, C (Dr Craig Sanderson)
UTAS Author:Schmid, M (Dr Matthias Schmid)
UTAS Author:Shelamoff, V (Mr Victor Shelamoff)
UTAS Author:Tatsumi, M (Mr Masayuki Tatsumi)
UTAS Author:White, CA (Dr Camille White)
ID Code:155232
Year Published:2023
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2023-02-06
Last Modified:2023-02-27

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