Rapid assessment of tissue nitrogen in cultivated Gracilaria gracilis (Rhodophyta) and Ulva lactuca (Chlorophyta)
Bolton, John J.
Anderson, Robert J.
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Tissue nitrogen content and thallus colour were quantified using a rapid assessment method based on the Pantone® matt uncoated formula guide for raft-cultivated Gracilaria gracilis Steentoft Irvine et Farnham at Saldanha Bay and tank-cultivated Ulva lactuca Linnaeus at Jacobsbaai in 2001 – 2002. A relationship between thallus colour and tissue nitrogen, as well as a transition between green-yellows and yellow-browns that occurs between 0.8 – 1.3 mg N per g tissue (Pantone® colours 460U – 455U) for Gracilaria were found, with the green-yellow colour indicating nitrogen-starved material and the yellow-browns indicating nitrogen-replete material. For Ulva a transition between green and yellow-green occurred at a tissue nitrogen content of between 1.5 – 1.7 mg N per g tissue (Pantone® colours 585U and 583U). This relationship can be used by seaweed farmers for cultivation management as a quick guide to determine nutritional status of the seaweeds, and as an indication of protein content when the seaweeds are used as feeds.