Study: Carbon Released During Macroalgal Growth has Significant Sequestration Potential

 Seagriculture EU 2024
Carbon Released During Macroalgal Growth has Significant Sequestration Potential

Carbon sequestration effects of particulate organic carbon released during macroalgal growth. Credit: Li Hongmei

by Zhang Nannan, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Macroalgae are the most productive plants in coastal ecosystems. They have attracted worldwide interest due to their ability to sequester carbon. The growth of macroalgae can produce significant amounts of particulate organic carbon (POC), but it is unclear how these POC are metabolized and how they affect carbon sequestration.

Researchers from the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have revealed the fate of POC released by macroalgae and their effect on carbon sequestration.

Their results were published in Environmental Science & Technology.

In the South Yellow Sea, China, a study of the macroalgal bloom of Ulva prolifera was conducted, which revealed a significant increase in the concentration of POC in the surface seawater during the bloom.

Subsequently, a laboratory simulation experiment determined that 77.6% of the POCs were bio-labile, while the remaining 22.4% were bio-recalcitrant. Microorganisms were observed to convert 23.9% of the bio-labile POC to dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and some of the DOC was further converted to bio-recalcitrant DOC.

About 39.6% of the bio-recalcitrant substances persisted, including bio-recalcitrant POC and bio-recalcitrant DOC. The bio-recalcitrant POC was more sensitivity to photodegradation than bio-recalcitrant DOC. The photodegradation removal rate of bio-recalcitrant POC (14.1%) was more than 10 times that of bio-recalcitrant DOC (1.2%).

Finally, 36.3% of the POC released by macroalgae growth could perform long-term carbon sequestration. This is a neglected carbon sink.

This study provides novel insights into the significant carbon sequestration potential of POC released by growing macroalgae, and this fraction of carbon should be taken into account in the overall carbon sequestration effect contributed by macroalgae.

All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint articles in their entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact david@algaeplanet.com. Algae Planet accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

Seagriculture USA 2024
AlgaeMetrics

Subscribe

Breaking-News

  • February 19, 2024: Microalgae producer Phycom, based in Veenendaal, The Netherlands, has received a €1.75 million investment from ROM Utrecht Region, together with a private investor. This follows its recent Series A investment, bringing the total raised funding to more than €10.5 million in six months. READ MORE...
  • February 16, 2024: “We believe everyday materials should help to replenish the planet from sea to soil,” says Julia Marsh, co-founder of Sway, the California startup replacing plastic packaging with seaweed-based solutions, that recently secured a $5 million seed round. “The launch of our thermoplastic seaweed materials, along with an influx of new capital targeted at scaling production, signifies tangible progress toward a more circular future.” READ MORE...
  • February 12, 2024: German made equipment will be used this year to turn the sargassum that lands in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, into fuel. Lourdes Várguez, the Secretary of Sustainable Environment and Climate Change, says the equipment will be tested to take advantage of the municipality’s unwanted seaweed. READ MORE...

Algae Europe 2024

A Beginner’s Guide