Bioremediation potential, growth and biomass yield of the green seaweed, Ulva lactuca in an integrated marine aquaculture system at the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia at different stocking densities and effluent flow rates

Authors

  • Yousef S. Al-Hafedh,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center of Excellence for Wildlife Research, Natural Resources & Environment Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    • Correspondence

      Dr. Yousef S. Al-Hafedh, Center of Excellence for Wildlife Research, Natural Resources & Environment Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology, P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh 11442, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Email: yhafedh@kacst.edu.sa

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  • Aftab Alam,

    1. Center for Desert Agriculture, Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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  • Alejandro H. Buschmann

    1. I-mar Research Center, University of Los Lagos, Casilla, Puerto Montt, Chile
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Abstract

Growth, production and biofiltration rates of seaweed, Ulva lactuca were investigated at two stocking densities (3 kg and 6 kg m−2) and two effluent flow rates (5.4 and 10.8 m3 day−1) to optimize an integrated mariculture system at Saudi Red Sea coast. effluents from fish-rearing tank, stocked with 200 kg fish (Oreochromis spilurus), fed to six seaweed tanks via sedimentation tank. Fish growth (weight gain 1.75 g fish day−1), net production (NP, 10.16 kg m−3) and survival (94.24%) were within acceptable limits. Ulva showed significantly higher (F = 62.62, d.f. 3, 35; P < 0.0001) specific growth rates at lower density compared with higher density and under high flow versus low flow (SGR = 5.78% vs. 2.55% at lower flow and 10.60% vs. 6.26% at higher flow). Biomass yield of Ulva at low- and high-stocking densities (111.11 and 83.2 g wet wt m−2 day−1, respectively) at low flow and (267.44 and 244.19 g wet wt m−2 day−1, respectively) at high flow show that high flow rate and lower density favoured growth. Removal rates of total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) (0.26–0.31 g m−2 day−1) and phosphate phosphorus (0.32–0.41 g m−2 day−1) by U. lactuca were not significantly different (F = 1.9, d.f. 3, 59; P = 0.1394 for TAN and F = 0.29, d.f. 3, 59; P = 0.8324 for phosphates) at both the flow rates and stocking densities. Results show that the effluent flow rate has significant impact over the performance of the seaweed than stocking density.

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