University of Tasmania

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Optimizing the initial cultivation stages of kelp Ecklonia radiata for restoration

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 22:05 authored by Suebsanguan, S, Elisabeth StrainElisabeth Strain, Morris, RL, Swearer, SE

Restoration of kelp forests typically relies on transplanting sporophylls to new locations and has limited application in regions with low remnant kelp cover. Cultivated kelp requires fewer sporophylls and is a potential alternative and sustainable source of transplants for large‐scale restoration projects. Naturally sourced fertile sporophylls, however, are still required as ‘seed’ stock in cultivation practices, thus optimizing cultivation methods is important to minimize this dependency on wild stocks. To assist in optimizing the early‐stage cultivation methods for restoring beds of the laminarian kelp Ecklonia radiata, we first tested the effects of sporophyll transport, storage, and dehydration on zoospore release. We then tested for effects of inoculum storage temperature on zoospore abundance, and lastly for media sterilization and inoculum concentration effects on both zoospore settlement and resulting gametophyte densities. Our results show, to maximize zoospore release, sporophylls should be transported dry and inoculated within three hours. Inoculum can be stored at 4°C without affecting zoospore abundance and should be added to sterilized media at lower concentrations to reduce settled zoospore density and improve post‐settlement survival of the gametophyte stage. This study provides practical recommendations for optimizing the initial cultivation procedures of E. radiata. To develop a full life‐cycle cultivation protocol for kelp restoration purposes, future research should focus on optimizing sporophyte production, out‐planting and transplanting techniques.


Publication title

Restoration Ecology





Article number









Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Blackwell Publishing Inc

Place of publication

350 Main St, Malden, USA, Ma, 02148

Rights statement

Copyright 2021 Society for Ecological Restoration

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems