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Title: The cultivaton of the edible red alga, Palmaria palmata for aquaculture
Author: Edwards, Maeve Dobson
ISNI:       0000 0001 3440 5346
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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The edible red alga Palmaria palmata (dulse) is harvested by hand from the lower intertidal, where it grows on kelp stipes and rocks. It is abundant on rocky shores of Northern Ireland and is so popular when eaten as a dried. product that demand regularly outstrips the supply. Palmaria has been cultivated experimentally by inserting small plants·into ropes, but this is the first determined attempt to cultivate dulse from tetraspores. Mature Palmaria tetrasporophytes are present in winter and release tetraspores under laboratory conditions. Culture string is placed under the mature tetrasporophytes and the released spores settle and attach to the string, and germinate. The aim of this project was to research the requirements for, and offer recommendations about, cultivating Palmaria from spores on a commercial scale. Studies were carried out on wild Palmaria populations with respect to the production of tetraspores, and also to determine the optimum conditions for tetraspore culture in the laboratory and the cultivation of seeded plants in the sea. The following recommendations can be made from this research: • Seeding large amounts of string for a commercial farm will be seasonal as the peak reproductive season for Palmaria is January to April. Stimulation of reproduction by placing plants in short days should be investigated further. • In the laboratory, sporelings are best cultivated in low irradiances (5-10 pmol m-2 S·1) and in high-nutrient media (for example, the culture media F/2). . • Farm costs can be reduced by using less reproductive spore material to seed culture string and keeping sporelings in the laboratory for only 2 weeks before out-planting. them to the sea. • An economically viable seaweed farm can be achieved by removing only the largest plants from culture strings at each harvest and leaving the smaller plants to grow. Strings can then be re-harvested up to four times. • Nets made from culture string should be used instead of individual string lengths (known as droppers). These provide a larger surface area for spores to settle on, and result in less entanglement.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available