The phaeophyte macroalgae Sargassum muticum is under investigation as a cultivation crop within its native range in SE Asia, alongside other members of the Sargassum genus. During the critical hatchery phase, germlings are grown to ≥ several millimeters ready for outplanting. By optimising the growth medium and twine substrate used for the germling attachment, hatcheries can become more efficient and cost-effective. An 8-week replicated laboratory experiment investigated these factors. It found that adding 0.125 mL L−1 of saturated germanium dioxide during the first week increased mean germling size by 23% (p < 0.005), whereas additional nutrients in the form of F/2 medium made no difference (p > 0.05). Six twine substrates were also tested: jute, cotton, polyamide/cotton, polyester, polyvinyl alcohol and polypropylene. Sargassum muticum grew similarly well on all, although attachment success during the first week was highest on the rougher natural fibres, particularly jute. A negative density-dependent effect of germling density on growth was seen across all materials, with the highest growth seen on the materials with the lowest germling density. Jute is recommended as a highly suitable substrate for hatchery cultivation in this species, although the initial density should be carefully controlled to prevent intraspecific competition.
- Sargassum muticum