Quantitative and qualitative analyses of dissolved organic matter released from Ecklonia cava Kjellman, in Oura Bay, Shimoda, Izu Peninsula, Japan

Shigeki Wada, Masakazu N. Aoki, Yasutaka Tsuchiya, Toshihiko Sato, Hideo Shinagawa, Takeo Hama

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116 Citations (Scopus)


Release of dissolved organic matter (DOM) was studied on macroalga, Ecklonia cava Kjellman, by in situ field bag experiments, which were designed to keep the algal body under natural field condition, in Oura Bay, Shimoda, Izu Peninsula, Japan, from August 2003 to May 2005. The experiments were conducted 6 times in different seasons. The concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the experimental bag generally increased during the first 1-2 days, showing the release of DOC from algae. The daily release rates of DOC varied between 0.12 and 5.8 mgC per g (dry wt) of the algal blades per day. The seasonal variability of the DOC release rate was similar to those of the growth and the photosynthetic rates reported by the previous studies on E. cava in the same location. The fractions of the DOC release of the net primary production accounted for 18-62%. These contributions are comparable to other macroalgae in the previous studies (27-43%) using other macroalgae. Analysis of organic composition of DOM using gas chromatography (neutral aldose composition) and spectrometry (UV-visible and fluorescence) indicates that E. cava usually release extracellular products containing mucilaginous polysaccharides containing fucose as a main constituent and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM). The release of these organic compounds is likely performed as the ordinary metabolism of brown algae. An exceptional release of a considerable amount of protein and carbohydrates mainly composed of mannose was found in June 2004, probably reflecting leakage of the intracellular material by an autolysis of the algal cells. The high DOM release rate in the present study suggests that macroalgae would be one of the important DOM producers in coastal regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-358
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Oct 19
Externally publishedYes


  • DOM release
  • Ecklonia cava
  • Fluorescence
  • Macroalgae
  • Neutral carbohydrate
  • Seasonal variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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