Alexander Lubsch obtained his MSc in Marine Science from the University of Rostock (Germany) in collaboration with Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI, Helgoland, Germany), where he worked on the differential palatability of floating and non-floating seaweed parts by meso-grazer. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems, and Utrecht University, The Netherlands. His doctoral research is on the feasibility of sustainable seaweed farming in the North Sea area and he is particularly interested in seaweed ecology, cultivation and its biotechnological applications.
Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems, NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research, and Utrecht University, PO Box 140, 4401 NY Yerseke, Netherlands
Department Ocean Ecosystems, University of Groningen, PO Box 72, 9700 AB, Groningen, Netherlands
Klaas Timmermans is a senior scientist at NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems, and Utrecht University, The Netherlands and an honorary Professor of Marine Plant Biomass at Groningen University, The Netherlands. His research interests are in ecophysiology and ecology of seaweeds.
Texture analysis is a method to test the physical properties of a material by tension and compression. The growing interest in commercialisation of seaweeds for human food has stimulated research into the physical properties of seaweed tissue. These are important parameters for the survival of sessile organisms consistently exposed to turbulent flow and varying drag-forces. These tactile properties also affect consumer perception and acceptance of materials. Here, we present a standardised method to determine these physical properties using, as an example, the brown seaweed Laminaria digitata (Hudson) J.V. Lamouroux, which is prevalent on coastlines along the northern Atlantic Ocean. Morphological features of a healthy L. digitata thallus (lamina) seem modified to withstand physical distress from hydrodynamic forces in its wave-swept habitat. The trade-off in tissue responses to tensile and compression forces along the lamina, linked to an age gradient, indicates a twinned alignment of its cellular microstructure, similar to those of modern nanotechnology, to optimise the toughness and flexibility of constituent tissue. Tensile strength increased from young to old tissue along a positive toughness gradient of 75%. Based on our results, a short interpretation is given of the heterogeneity in L. digitata lamina from morphological, ecological and physiological perspectives.
Agrawal, A.A. 2001. Phenotypic plasticity in the interaction and evolution of species. Science 294: 321–326.
Bell, E.C. 1999. Applying flow tank measurements to the surf zone: predicting dislodgment of the Gigartinaceae. Phycol. Res. 47: 159–166.
Berg, M.P. and J. Ellers. 2010. Trait plasticity in species interactions: a driving force of community dynamics. Evol. Ecol. 24: 617–629.
Bixler, H.J. and H. Porse. 2011. A decade of change in the seaweed hydrocolloids industry. J. Appl. Phycol. 23: 321–335.
Boller, M.L. and E. Carrington. 2006. The hydrodynamic effects of shape and size change during reconfiguration of a flexible macroalga. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. 209: 1894–1903.
Carrington, E. 1990. Drag and dislodgment of an intertidal macroalga: consequences of morphological variation in Mastocarpus papillatus Kützing. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. 139: 185–200.
Coumou, D. and S. Rahmsdorf. 2012. A decade of weather extremes. Nat. Clim. Chang. 2: 491–496.
Denny, M.W. 1994. Extreme drag forces and the survival of wind- and water-swept organisms. J. Exp. Biol. 194: 97–115.
Denny, M.W. 1995. Predicting physical disturbance – mechanistic approaches to the study of survivorship on wave-swept shores. Ecol. Monogr. 65: 371–418.
Denny, M.W. and B. Gaylord. 2002. The mechanics of wave-swept algae. J. Exp. Biol. 205: 1355–1362.
Denny, M.W., T.L. Daniel and M.A.R. Koehl. 1985. Mechanical limits to size in wave-swept organisms. Ecol. Monogr. 55: 69–102.
Gerard, V.A. 1987. Hydrodynamic streamlining of Laminaria saccharina Lamour in response to mechanical stress. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 107: 237–244.
Hawes, I. and R. Smith. 1995. Effects of current velocity on detachment of thalli of Ulva lactuca (Chlorophyta) in a New Zealand estuary. J. Phycol. 31: 875–880.
Holdt, S.L. and S. Kraan. 2011. Bioactive compounds in seaweed: functional food applications and legislation. J. Appl. Phycol. 23: 543–597.
Hurd, C.L. 2000. Water motion, marine macroalgal physiology, and production. J. Phycol. 36: 453–472.
Hurd, C.L. and C.A. Pilditch. 2011. Flow induced morphological variations affect diffusion boundary-layer thickness of Macrocystis pyrifera (Heterokontophyta, Laminariales). J. Phycol. 47: 341–351.
Hurd, C.L., R.S. Galvin, T.A. Norton and M.J. Dring. 1993. Production of hyaline hairs by intertidal species of Fucus (Fucales) and their role in phosphate uptake. J. Phycol. 29: 160–165.
Jones, W.E. and Demetropoulos A. 1968. Exposure to wave action: measurements of an important ecological parameter on rocky shores of Anglesey. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 2: 46–63.
Koehl, M.A.R. 1984. How do benthic organisms withstand moving water? Am. Zool. 24: 57–70.
Koehl, M.A.R. 1986. Seaweeds in moving water: form and mechanical function. In: (T.J. Givnish, ed.) On the Economy of Plant Form and Function. Cambridge University Press, NY. pp. 603–634.
Koehl, M.A.R. and S.A. Wainwright. 1977. Mechanical adaptations of a giant kelp. Limnol. Oceanogr. 22: 1067–1071.
Koricheva, J., H. Nykänen and E. Gianoli. 2004. Meta-analysis of trade-offs among plant antiherbivore defenses: are plants jack-of-all-trades, masters of all? Am. Nat. 163: E64–E75.
Kraan, S. 2013. Mass-cultivation of carbohydrate rich macroalgae, a possible solution for sustainable biofuel production. Mitig. Adapt. Strateg. Glob. Change 18: 27–46.
LaBarbera, M. 1985. Mechanical properties of a North American aboriginal fishing line: the technology of a natural product. Am. Anthropol. 87: 625–636.
Liu, K., Y. Sun, R. Zhou, H. Zhu, J. Wang, L. Liu, S. Fan and K. Jiang. 2009. Nanotubes yarns with high tensile strength made by a twisting and shrinking method. Nanotech. 21: 045708.
Lowell, R.B., J.H. Markham and K.H. Mann. 1991. Herbivore-like damage induces increased strength and toughness in seaweed. Soc. Press London 243: 31–38.
Mackie, W. and R.D. Preston 1974. Cell wall and intercellular region polysaccharides. In: (W.D. Stewart, ed.) Algal physiology and Biochemistry. Oxford Blackville Scientific, London, pp. 40–85.
Mauricio, R. 1998. Costs of resistance to natural enemies in field populations of the annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Am. Nat. 151: 20–28.
Milligan, K.L.D. and R.E. DeWreede. 2000. Variations in holdfast attachment mechanics with developmental stage, substratum-type, season, and wave-exposure for the intertidal kelp species Hedophyllum sessile (C. Agardh) Setchell. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 254: 189–209.
Molis, M., R.A. Scrosati, E.F. El-Belely, T.J. Lesniowski and M. Wahl. 2015. Wave-induced changes in seaweed toughness entail plastic modifications in snail traits maintaining consumption efficacy. J. Phycol. 103: 851–859.
Munoz, M. and B. Santelices. 1989. Determination of the distribution and abundance of the limpet Scurria scurra on the stipes of the kelp Lessonia nigrescens in central Chile. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 54: 277–285.
Neori, A. 2008. Essential role of seaweed cultivation in integrated multi-trophic aquaculture farms for global expansion of mariculture: an analysis. J. Appl. Phycol. 20: 567–570.
Norton, T.A. 1991. Algal dispersal. J. Phycol. 27: 53.
Peck, J. and T.L. Childers. 2003. To have and to hold: The influence of haptic information on product judgements. J. Marketing 67: 35–48.
Pratt, M.C. and A.S. Johnson. 2002. Strength, drag, and dislodgment of two competing intertidal algae from two wave exposures and four seasons. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 272: 71–101.
Rhoades, D.F. 1979. Evolution of plant chemical defense against herbivores. In: (G.A. Rosenthal and D.H. Janzen, eds.) Herbivores: Their interaction with secondary plant metabolites. Academic Press, NY. pp. 3–54.
Santelices, B., J.C. Castilla, J. Cancino and P. Schmiede. 1980. Comparative ecology of Lessonia nigrescens and Durvillaea antarctica (Phaeophycea) in central Chile. J. Mar. Biol. 59: 119–132.
Shaughnessy, F.J., R.E. DeWreede and E.C. Bell. 1996. Consequences of morphology and tissue strength to blade survivorship of two closely related Rhodophyta species. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 136: 257–266.
Szczesniak, A.S. 1963. Classification of textural characteristics. J. Food Sci. 28: 385–389.
Szczesniak, A.S. and D.H. Kleyn. 1963. Consumer awareness of texture and other food attributes. Food Technol. 17: 74–77.
Thomsen, M.S. and T. Wernberg. 2005. Minireview: what effects the forces required to break or dislodge macroalga? Eur. J. Phycol. 40: 139–148.
Toth, G.B. and H. Pavia. 2007. Induced herbivore resistance in seaweeds: a meta-analysis. J. Ecol. 95: 425–434.
Utsumi, S. 2011. Eco-evolutionary dynamics in herbivorous insect communities mediated by induced plant responses. Pop. Ecol. 53: 23–34.
Young, L.R., S. Zieger and A.V. Babanin. 2011. Global trends in wind speed and wave height. Science 332: 451–455.
Zhu, J.Y. and X.J. Pan. 2010. Woody biomass pretreatment for cellulosic ethanol production: technology and energy consumption evaluation. Biores. Technol. 101: 4992–5002.
Botanica Marina publishes high-quality contributions from all of the disciplines of marine botany at all levels of biological organisation from subcellular to ecosystem: chemistry and applications, genomics, physiology and ecology, phylogeny and biogeography. Research involving global or interdisciplinary interest is especially welcome as well as applied science papers dealing with emerging conceptual issues or developing technologies.