Seasonal variation in productivity, chemical composition and nutrient uptake of Ulva spp. (Chlorophyta) strains

H.M. Jansen, M.S. Bernard, M.A.J. Nederlof, I.M. van der Meer*, A.K. van der Werf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Applications ofseaweeds require the supply of uniform biomass, yet performance of Ulva is generally characterised by a wide variation across study sites and seasons, as well as among species or strains. This study aimed to determine the variation in growth, biochemical composition and nutrient uptake of five Ulva strains collected in the Eastern Scheldt estuary (the
Netherlands) and cultivated under standardised outdoor conditions from July to November. Surprisingly, only two strains performed well (maximum 291 ± 95 and 570 ± 122 kg FW ha− 1 day− 1 for VEE and YER strain), one strain showed slow growth (maximum 155 ± 91 kg FW ha− 1 day− 1 for SCH strain), and the last two strains (JAC and KOM) did not grow at all. Chemical composition was only determined for the well-performing strains. For most of the parameters, strong seasonality was observed; growth, crude fat (0.4–1.3%), ash (16–25%) and starch (3–11%) decreased, whereas fibres (37–45%) and proteins (7–22% crude; 6–18% true) increased. To evaluate the bio-remediation potential, nutrient uptake of YER, VEE and SCH strains was determined from in- and outflowing water (453–2027 μmol DIN; 4–101 μmol PO4 kg FW h− 1). Highest
rates were observed for the SCH strain which was not in accordance with growth nor composition, suggesting that nutrients were not (all) directed towards vegetative growth. This study demonstrates a large variation in performance between different Ulva strains collected in relatively close proximity and thereby highlights the importance to test a variety of local seaweed strains prior to commercial farming.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1649-1660
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Issue number3
Early online date21 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Local variability
  • Performance
  • Sea lettuce
  • Seaweed culture


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