Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 1171–1178 | Cite as

Compensation of the brown alga Undaria pinnatifida (Laminariales; Phaeophyta) after thallus excision under cultivation in Matsushima Bay, northern Japan

  • Xu Gao
  • Hikaru Endo
  • Makoto Yamana
  • Kazuya Taniguchi
  • Yukio Agatsuma


In recent years, the crop yield of cultivated Undaria pinnatifida (Harvey) Suringar has not been able to meet commercial demand and so advances in cultivation technology are strongly needed to increase production. Interestingly, cultivation work has shown the yield of U. pinnatifida sporophytes may be increased significantly by thallus excision, which may cause compensatory growth of the remaining tissues. To test this hypothesis and clarify correlative mechanisms, we examined seasonal morphological characteristics, photosynthetic rates, nutrient uptake rates, and carbon and nitrogen contents of U. pinnatifida sporophytes after thallus excision at a point 30 cm from the meristem in late February and compared these parameters with control kelps grown without excision, which were cultivated together in Matsushima Bay, northern Japan. Compared to control kelps, the length and dry weight of blades increased significantly after excision, and the growth phase was prolonged for about 1 month. The photosynthetic rates, nutrient uptake rates, and carbon and nitrogen contents of excised kelps were significantly higher than those of the controls. After vegetative growth stopped, resources accumulating in thalli were translocated significantly to sporophylls for maturation, indicating maturation was not negatively affected by thallus excision. These results indicate U. pinnatifida exhibits a very strong compensatory ability in response to thallus excision and consequently, the yield could be increased due to an increase in harvest frequency.


Compensation Cultivation Thallus excision Undaria pinnatifida 



We sincerely thank Professor M. Kokubun of the Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University for his critical comments on this manuscript. We also thank Mr. M. Ise of the Shiogama Daiichi Fisheries Cooperative Association for providing the seedlings used in the present study and for his kind cooperation with kelp cultivation and collection, the staffs of the Miyagi Prefecture Fisheries Technology Institute and Akita Prefecture Fisheries Promotion Institute for using seawater for culture experiment and for providing the long-term seawater temperature of Enoshima, Professor O. Nishimula and Mr. Chiba for helping with the analysis of nutrient concentration, and assistant professor K. Ito for helping with the measurement of carbon and nitrogen content.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xu Gao
    • 1
  • Hikaru Endo
    • 1
  • Makoto Yamana
    • 1
  • Kazuya Taniguchi
    • 1
  • Yukio Agatsuma
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Marine Plant Ecology, Graduate School of Agricultural ScienceTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan

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