• Conditions for staggering and delaying outplantings of the kelps Saccharina latissima and Alaria marginata for mariculture

      Raymond, Amy E. T.; Stekoll, Michael S. (Wiley, 2021-08-02)
      We describe a method for production of kelp using meiospore seeding creating flexibility for extended storage time prior to outplanting. One bottleneck to expansion of the kelp farming industry is the lack of flexibility in timing of seeded twine production, which is dependent on the fertility of wild sporophytes. We tested methods to slow gametophyte growth and reproduction of early life stages by manipulating temperature of the kelp Saccharina latissima. Reducing temperature from 12 C to 4 C reduced gametophyte size, sporophyte size, egg production, and sporophyte production and subsequently was the best candidate condition for storage experiments of seeded twine. Next, we examined how storage of Alaria marginata and S. latissima seeded twine at 4 C under differing nutrient concentrations affected the viability of sporelings after being moved into optimal growth conditions. Seeded twine storage at 4 C with no alteration to culturing media showed no negative effects in sporophyte density and sporophyte length for both species. This method for seeded twine storage, “cold banking,” allowed seeded twine storage for at least an additional 36 days compared to standard methods, with a total of 56 days spent in the hatchery providing opportunity for outplanting timing and staggering to enhance aquaculture efficiency.
    • Trophic Transfer of Macroalgal Fatty Acids in Two Urchin Species: Digestion, Egestion, and Tissue Building

      Schram, Julie B.; Kobelt, Julia N.; Dethier, Megan N.; Galloway, Aaron W. E. (Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2018-06-19)
      Sea urchins are ecosystem engineers of nearshore benthic communities because of their influence on the abundance and distribution of macroalgal species. Urchins are notoriously inefficient in assimilation of their macroalgal diets, so their fecal production can provide a nutritional subsidy to benthic consumers that cannot capture and handle large macroalgae. We studied the assimilation of macroalgal diets by urchins by analyzing the profiles of trophic biomarkers such as fatty acids (FAs). We tracked macroalgal diet assimilation in both Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis and S. purpuratus. Juvenile S. droebachiensis and adult S. purpuratus were maintained for 180 and 70 days, respectively, on one of three monoculture diets from three algal phyla: Nereocystis luetkeana, Pyropia sp., or Ulva sp. We then analyzed FA profiles of the macroalgal tissue fed to urchins as well as urchin gonad, gut, digesta, and egesta (feces) to directly evaluate trophic modification and compare nutritional quality of urchin food sources, urchin tissues, and fecal subsidies. In the S. purpuratus assay, there were significantly more total lipids in the digesta and egesta than in the algae consumed. The FA profiles of urchin tissues differed among urchin species, all diets, and tissue types. Despite these differences, we observed similar patterns in the relationships between the urchin and macroalgal tissues for both species. Egesta produced by urchins fed each of the three diets were depleted with respect to the concentration of important long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs), but did not differ significantly from the source alga consumed. Both urchin species were shown to synthesize and selectively retain both the precursor and resulting LCPUFAs involved in the synthesis of the LCPUFAs 20:4ω6 and 20:5ω3. S. droebachiensis and S. purpuratus exhibited consistent patterns in the respective depletion and retention of precursor FAs and resulting LCPUFAs of Pyropia and Ulva tissues, suggesting species level control of macroalgal digestion or differential tissue processing by gut microbiota. For both S. droebachiensis and S. purpuratus, macroalgal diet was a surprisingly strong driver of urchin tissue fatty acids; this indicates the potential of fatty acids for future quantitative trophic estimates of urchin assimilation of algal phyla in natural settings.