ISSN 10630740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2011, Vol. 37, No. 4, pp. 319–323. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2011.
The brown seaweed
naeus) Lane, Mayes, Druehl & Saunders, previously
oux and commonly known as “sugar kombu” or
“kombu royale,” has attracted commercial interest as
food for human consumption in Europe in recent
years. This kelp is a native European seaweed that has
potential for commercial culture in European waters.
Several offshore cultivation trials with this species have
been conducted successfully in the Irish Sea (United
Kingdom) ; White Sea (Russia) ; North Sea
(Germany) ; and Atlantic Sea (Spain) [5, 19, 20].
The macroscopic stage of
consists of an
undivided blade without a midrib that is connected to
a branched holdfast by a stipe. However, its morphol
ogy can vary considerably with environmental condi
tions, such as wave exposure. For example,
sensu lato (
from waveexposed habitats have short, narrow, and
thick blades, whereas those from sheltered habitats
have long, wide, and thin blades [7, 8, 11, 17]. Mor
phological blade features have very important implica
tions in assessing the quality of
human consumption. Determining the “substantiality
value” (SV) is a simple and quick way to assess the
quality of blades; it is based on the morphological
blade characters commonly applied to Asian culti
Paper was submitted in English by the authors.
(“kombu”) [12, 13, 15]. Other key
blade features with commercial interest are those
related to productivity, such as biomass [6, 15]. To
date, the effects of different offshore cultivation meth
ods on the blade features of
In this study, we conducted offshore cultivation
experiments to compare two offshore cultivation
methods. We cultivated
using culture ropes
in the hanging versus the horizontal position to exam
ine the variation of blade features during the reproduc
tion period. Cultivation experiments were conducted
in a coastal bay of Galicia (Northwest Spain) that
opens into the northwest Atlantic Ocean. Considering
the current commercial interest for
vation, this paper provides valuable information for its
future aquaculture in coastal bays.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Cultivation Experiments with Saccharina latissima
Strings with attached seedlings of
produced from gametophytes under controlled envi
ronmental conditions using the European method 
at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) as
described in previous studies [20, 21]. All seedlings orig
inated from the same germplasm collection of IEO
(cultivation gametophyte storage) so that any heritable
differences in morphology would be minimal.
Offshore Cultivation Methods Affects Blade Features of the Edible
in a Bay of Galicia, Northwest Spain
and Ó. Freire
Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IEO), Centro Oceanográfico de Santander,
Promontorio de San Martín s/n., Apdo. 240, 39080 Santander, Spain
Universidad de A Coruña (UDC), Facultad de Ciencias, Campus da Zapateira s/n., 15071 A Coruña, Spain
Received June 14, 2011
—Variation in blade morphology of
may be of importance for its commercial
cultivation. Blade features were compared between offshore cultivation on horizontal ropes versus hanging
ropes during its reproduction period (early autumn and early spring of the following year). Cultivation exper
iments were conducted in February 2002 in a sheltered coastal area of a bay of Galicia (Northwest Spain).
Significant differences were found between methods in blade area, which in turn affected blade biomass.
However, the differences were only significant during the reproduction period in early spring. The cultivation
method also significantly affected the “substantiality value”, which is an index that expresses the blade quality
for human consumption. The observed variations in morphological features of
blades likely were
caused by the different hydrodynamics of the two cultivation methods.
hanging culture, horizontal culture, hydrodynamics, kelp, morphology.