Global Climate Change and Red Seaweed Production in China

Gracilariopsis lemaneiformis or red seaweed is used throughout Asia for various purposes and is one of the most important aquaculture species in China, which in that country is cultivated for its high-quality raw agar. At its culture site… on Nanao Island, Shantou, China, however, the seaweed experiences high variability in environmental conditions, which creates concerns about how it will fare in light of the additional global climate changes that are predicted to occur in response to Earth’s increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Addressing such concerns in a laboratory study, Zou and Gao (2014) cultured G. lemaneiformis “at 12, 19, or 26°C for three weeks, to examine its photosynthetic acclimation to changing temperature.” In so doing, the two Chinese researchers determined that “the irradiance-saturated rate of photosynthesis … increased with increasing temperature,” such that “both the photosynthetic light- and carbon-use efficiencies increased with increasing growth or temperatures (from 12°C to 26°C).”

In the concluding paragraph of their paper, the two scientists say their results suggest that “G. lemaneiformis can optimize metabolic balance by adjustment of the light- and carbon-use in harmony with the changes in the prevailing temperature conditions,” which leads them to propose that “ongoing climate change (increasing atmospheric CO2 and global warming) might exert a favorable influence on the mariculture of G. lemaneiformisthrough the improved photosynthetic performances.”

View original article at: Global Climate Change and Red Seaweed Production in China

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