Brown algae are particularly widespread on rocky shores in temperate and cold latitudes and there absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide from the air worldwide
Credit: Hagen Buck-Wiese/Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology
Brown algae could remove up to 0.55 gigatons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year
Brown algae take up large amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and release parts of the carbon contained therein back into the environment in mucous form. This mucus is hard to break down for other ocean inhabitants, thus the carbon is removed from the atmosphere for a long time, as researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen now show. They reveal that the algal mucus called fucoidan is particularly responsible for this carbon removal and estimate that brown algae could thus remove up to 550 million tons of carbon dioxide from the air every year – almost the amount of Germany’s entire annual greenhouse gas emissions.
Brown algae are true wonder plants when it comes to absorbing carbon dioxide from the air. They even outcompete forests on land in this, and thus play a decisive role for the atmosphere and our climate. But what happens to the carbon dioxide after the algae have absorbed it? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology now report that the brown algae can remove large amounts of carbon dioxide from the global cycle in the long term and thus can counteract global warming.
Algae take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use the carbon to grow. They release up to a third of the carbon they absorb back into the seawater, for example in the form of sugary excretions. Depending on the structure of these excretions, they are either quickly used by other organisms or sink towards the seafloor. “The excretions of brown algae are very complex and therefore incredibly complicated to measure,” says first author Hagen Buck-Wiese from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen. “However, we have managed to develop a method to analyse them in detail.”
With this method, the researchers scrutinised a large number of different substances. The so-called fucoidan turned out to be particularly exciting. “Fucoidan made up about half of the excretions of the brown algae species we studied, the so-called bladderwrack,” says Buck-Wiese. Fucoidan is a recalcitrant molecule. “The fucoidan is so complex that it is very hard for other organisms to use it. No one seems to like it.” As a result, the carbon from the fucoidan does not return to the atmosphere quickly. “This makes the brown algae particularly good helpers in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the long term – for hundreds to thousands of years.”
Brown algae could bind almost all of Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions
Brown algae are remarkably productive. It is estimated that they absorb about 1 gigaton (one billion tons) of carbon per year from the air. Using the results of the present study, this would mean that up to 0.15 gigatons of carbon, equivalent to 0.55 gigatons of carbon dioxide, are sequestered by brown algae each year in the long term. For comparison: Germany’s annual greenhouse gas emissions currently amount to about 0.74 gigatons of carbon dioxide, according to the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, estimation for 2020). “And even better: The fucoidan does not contain any nutrients such as nitrogen,” Buck-Wiese explains further. Thus, the growth of the brown algae is not affected by the carbon losses.
For the current study, Buck-Wiese and his colleagues from the MARUM MPG Bridge Group Marine Glycobiology, which is based at both the Bremen Max Planck Institute and MARUM – Centre for Marine and Environmental Sciences at the University of Bremen, conducted their experiments at the Tvärminne Zoological Station in southern Finland. “Next we want to look into other brown algae species and other locations,” says Buck-Wiese. “The great potential of brown algae for climate protection definitely needs to be further researched and utilised.”
Original Article: Slime for the climate, delivered by brown algae
The Latest Updates from Bing News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Brown water near the coast: Lake O releases ongoing, could last until May
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers typically holds Friday media calls when large-scale releases are conducted, but the agency did not have any such meeting on March 1 and doesn't pl ...
- Lower Geyser Basin lakes' sediment reveals ancient changes to landscape
In the coming months, cores will be microscopically examined to determine their basic components — peat or mud, brown or green algae, clay or silt. X-ray fluorescence scanning will reveal the ...
- The Best Moisturizers for Aging Skin Over 60
In addition to mimosa, rose provides a pleasant natural fragrance while also keeping skin calm. Brown algae improves the skin’s hydration, shea butter provides feel-good moisture, and carrot root ...
- The Potential of Algae-Based Supplements in Nutritional Health
Multicellular macroscopic aquatic plants, or macroalgae, are classified into three taxa: Phaeophyceae, or brown algae, Rhodophyta or red algae, and Chlorophyta or green algae. Microalgae ...
- What Is Brown Tide? Is It Dangerous?
T he brown tide is something people are starting to hear about more and more. Before, other dangerous tides like red tides or blue-green algae dominated the news. However, as these tides start to ...
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Christie & Co Serving as Agency of Record for Energizing New Line of Healthy Chips, Snacks From The Sea
Available in Zesty Pizza, Chipotle and Salt & Pepper flavors, Snacks From The Sea's signature Kelpie Chips are made from kelp, a sea vegetable that's extraordinarily rich in vitamins, minerals, and ...
- Prostadine Reviews – Shocking Official Website Investigation! Do NOT Buy Until Seeing This
Beyond its thyroid-supportive properties, Bladderwrack is rich in fucoidan, a type of fiber that boasts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Iodine, a trace element vital for human health ...
- Top 6 Best Fucoxanthin Supplements in 2024
Elevate your well-being with Fine Japan’s fucoidan supplement, boasting an impressive 1000mg fucoidan per serving. Immerse yourself in the finest quality maritech fucoidan derived from organic ...
- Top 6 Best Fucoidan Supplements in 2024
Fucoidan, a sulfated polysaccharide that is present in different kinds of brown seaweed, has been experiencing heightened recognition in recent times due to its potential health advantages such as ...
- Top 5 Best Fucoidan Supplements in 2024
Fucoidan is a complicated carbohydrate discovered in different types of brown seaweed. Its potential health benefits are renowned, such as enhancing the immune system, decreasing inflammation ...