Evaluating the potential bioextractive capacity of South Florida native macroalgae Agardhiella subulata for use in integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA)

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Abstract

With the expansion of marine aquaculture throughout the world comes a need for solutions to improve the economic viability and environmental sustainability of farming operations. Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) has been identified as a promising method of farming that typically combines multiple cultured species in connected systems in an effort to decrease the concentration of nutrients expelled as waste products from intensive finfish culture while also increasing commercial profits via subsequent extractive biomass production. This study examined the effectiveness of South Florida native red macroalgal species Agardhiella subulata for use as a productive, nutrient-extracting species for IMTA in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean regions. When cultured in a pilot-scale, land-based IMTA system for replicated 15 day trials with American red snapper, Lutjanus campechanus, A. subulata grew up to 14.4% d−1 and significantly decreased the concentration of all measured dissolved inorganic nutrients in the effluent water. The average percent (% ± SE) removal of nutrients were: 68.8 ± 4.8 ammonia, 94.5 ± 1.3 nitrate, 96.6 ± 2.0 nitrite, and 93.2 ± 3.1 phosphate from primary culture effluents. Further evidence of A. subulata fitness for commercial IMTA practices is shown through significantly high bulk nitrogen tissue concentration of experimental (nutrient-enriched) compared to control (un-enriched) groups. Results of this study demonstrate the efficient growth and nutrient removal capabilities of A. subulata when used in IMTA applications with marine finfish production in warm water environments, as may be encountered in marine aquaculture projects in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number737091
JournalAquaculture
Volume544
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2021

Keywords

  • Agardhiella subulata
  • Algae cultivation
  • Eutrophication
  • Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture
  • Lutjanus campechanus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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