The phaeophyte macroalga Saccharina latissima is gaining economic importance as an aquaculture crop. To decrease costs associated with the hatchery, the time required for meiospores to develop into sporophytes ready for outplanting must be minimised and survivorship maximised. The settlement and juvenile development of S. latissima was examined in a series of experimental manipulations. It was determined that (1) Meiospore settlement should be conducted in the dark in nutrient-enriched medium. (2) Continued nutrient enrichment in the hatchery increased growth and survival of the developing sporophytes. (3) It is best to use the diatom inhibitor germanium dioxide only during settlement and the first week of light exposure, rather than continuously or not at all. This treatment leads to the highest survival rate and sporophyte length. (4) Pre-treating the settlement surface with a commercial yeast extract can increase settlement and early development size; however, over-application can be highly detrimental leading to reduced survival, size and patchy growth.
- Saccharina latissima
- Germanium dioxide