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HAVBRUK2-Stort program for havbruksforskning

ERA-NET: BlueBio Value creation and ecosystem services of European seaweed industry by reducing and handling potentially toxic elements

Alternative title: BlueBio Verdiskaping og økosystemtjenester av europeisk tang- og tarenæring ved å redusere og behandle potensielt toksiske element

Awarded: NOK 6.1 mill.

The Norwegian contribution to the BlueBio consortium includes the three research partners, Nofima, NMBU and NORSØK as well as the seaweed farmer Ocean Forest. In addition, the seaweed producers Algea and Nutrimar will contribute with residual seaweed material to experiments and contribute in meetings, knowledge dissemination etc. The overall aim is to promote value creation, including ecosystem services, and further expansion of the seaweed industry in Europe. It will fill knowledge gaps on Potential Toxic Elements (PTE) in farmed sugar kelp and Arsenic (As) in collected bladderwrack and fucus. In addition, the project will increase understanding of the impact of using seaweed material in soil on elemental uptake in crop plants and Carbon Sequestration and Storage (CSS). SeaSoil considers and addresses the whole value chain, including the actors, by a responsible research and innovation approach. The project will by four work packages (WP): 1) Estimate heritabilities and genetic covariation in contents of cadmium (Cd), As and iodine (I) in sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) from two areas in Norway, and evaluate potential selection response of their reduced contents (WP2) 2) Study the impact of seaweed application rate and water saturation on the As dynamics in soil to determine chemical reactivity and potential bioavailability of labile As using an outdoor tank experiment with two crops (WP3) 3) Estimate the potential of seaweed amendments for CSS in agricultural soils (WP3) 4) Study the impact of seaweed production on the environment (primarily climate change), and conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the seaweed industry, including ecosystem services (WP4) 5) Study the economic feasibility, and potential regulatory measures, for stimulating production and use of (residual) material from farmed seaweed (WP4) 6) Ensure good cooperation, inclusion, open communication, engagement, and training in line within Responsible Research and Innovation (WP1-WP4). A lab experiment was conducted during the winter of 2022/23 to calculate the heritabilities and genetic correlation in the content of Cd, As and I in sugar kelp from Troms and the Bergen area in Norway with short (8 hours) and long (12 hours) day length. Preliminary results indicate that kelp from different geographical areas varied in terms of growth, sensitivity to day length, hyperspectral absorption and Cd and I buildup. An outdoor experiment with oats grown in wooden frames was conducted during summer 2023 at Tingvoll, Norway with the addition of various amounts of residues from chemical extraction of rockweed (Ascophyllum) and water extraction of bladderwrack (Fucus) to determine chemical reactivity and potential bioavailability of labile As in the soil. Application of seaweed material decreased the production of aboveground plant material, but the plants produced grains even at the highest level of fertilization. For the material that was supplied with the lowest quantity (Ascophyllum residues), there was a certain positive effect of an increasing amount, while for the Fucus residue, which was applied in much higher rates, there was a negative effect of increasing the amount. The crop decline may be explained by the materials containing a lot of salt, and for the Ascophylluym residue that it has a high pH. The positive effect of increasing the amount of Ascophyllum residue may be due to a supply of more nutrients, especially nitrogen. The amount supplied was determined in order to measure the possible uptake of PTEs in the plants, and for some of the treatments in the experiment, the maximum level given by the regulations for organic fertilizers was therefore exceeded. Soil samples were taken in October 2022 from a nearby field, where residues from chemical extraction of rockweed were applied in 2019. Chemical analyses showed a slightly higher concentration of total As in the topsoil layer (0-20 cm) in plots where seaweed material was added in 2019, compared to control plots without seaweed. However, there were no indications of vertical leakage down to 20-40 cm depth. The environmental quality limit for As in soil in Norway is set to 8 mg per kg dry soil. Below this value, soil-dwelling animals are well protected with respect to As. More than 95% of the most sensitive species tested are then protected. Similar values for Cd were recently proposed to decrease from 1.5 to 1.0 mg per kg soil (Norwegian Environment Agency 2023). The soil samples had < 2 mg As per kg dry soil. For Cd, the concentration varied from 0.05 to 0.11 mg in the topsoil (0-20 cm) in 2022, with no significant effect of the seaweed application in 2019. In order to investigate the current situation of the seaweed value chain and market in Europe, understand the major challenges of harvesting, breeding, exploitation, processing and commercialisation, and to investigate possible solutions, an online survey is conducted among all types of stakeholders in the sector.

This is the Norwegian contribution to the BlueBio project SeaSoil. The overall project aim is to promote value creation, including ecosystem services, and further expansion of the seaweed industry in Europe. It will fill knowledge gaps on Potential Toxic Elements (PTE) in farmed sugar kelp and As in collected bladderwrack and fucus, in addition to impact of using seaweed material in soil on elemental uptake in crop plants and Carbon Sequestration and Storage (CSS). SeaSoil takes a holistic value chain approach according to the RRI framework, and will: 1) Estimate heritabilities and genetic correlations in contents of Cd, As and I in sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) from two areas in Norway, and evaluate potential selection response of their reduced contents (WP2) 2) Study the impact of seaweed application rate and water saturation on the As dynamics in soil to determine chemical reactivity and potential bioavailability of labile As using an outdoor tank experiment with two crops (WP3) 3) Estimate the potential of seaweed amendments for CSS in agricultural soils (WP3) 4) Study the impact of seaweed production on the environment (primarily climate change) using LCA, and conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the seaweed industry, including ecosystem services (WP4) 5) Study the economic feasibility, and regulatory incentives, for production and use of (residual) biomass from farmed seaweed (WP4) 6) Ensure multi-actor approach and integrated cooperation, communication and human capacity building in line within Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) (All 5 WPs). The project mobilises a total of 10 partners (including three industry partners) from five countries (Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Croatia and Estonia), covering a broad range of disciplines and expertise, to ensure food and feed safety of seaweed products and realise the potential of the seaweed value chain to support the European circular bioeconomy.

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Funding scheme:

HAVBRUK2-Stort program for havbruksforskning

Thematic Areas and Topics

LTP3 Et kunnskapsintensivt næringsliv i hele landetMarinHavbrukSamfunns- og markedsperspektiver havbrukBioteknologiMarinMarin bioteknologiResponsible Research & InnovationRRI MedvirkningCo-Funded/ERA-NETBransjer og næringerLandbrukPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderSkog, landbruk og matInternasjonaliseringInternasjonaliseringInternasjonalt prosjektsamarbeidMatMat - Grønn sektorPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderFiskeri og kystLavutslippCo-Funded/ERA-NETERA-NET Cofund H2020MatTrygg verdikjedeLandbrukJordAnvendt forskningMatMat - BlågrønnResponsible Research & InnovationKlimarelevant forskningBransjer og næringerMatLTP3 Bioøkonomi og forvaltningBioøkonomiØvrig bioøkonomiKlimaRammebetingelser og virkemidler for utslippsreduksjon og karbonopptakLTP3 Klima, miljø og energiBioøkonomiSektorovergripende bioøkonomiLandbrukLTP3 Samfunnssikkerhet og beredskapLandbrukPlanterMarinHavbrukLTP3 Marine bioressurser og havforvaltningKutt i utslipp av klimagasserLTP3 Rettede internasjonaliseringstiltakLTP3 Miljøvennlig energi og lavutslippsløsningerBioøkonomiPortefølje Energi og transportInternasjonaliseringInternasjonalt samarbeid om utlysningHavbrukAvl og genetikkHavbrukLTP3 Samfunnsikkerhet, sårbarhet og konfliktPortefølje ForskningssystemetBioteknologiMarin bioteknologiLTP3 Høy kvalitet og tilgjengelighetBransjer og næringerFiskeri og havbrukPolitikk- og forvaltningsområderLTP3 Muliggjørende og industrielle teknologierLTP3 Styrket konkurransekraft og innovasjonsevneKlimaPortefølje Mat og bioressurserLTP3 Hav og kystPortefølje Muliggjørende teknologierLTP3 Klima, polar og miljøPortefølje Klima og miljøLTP3 Nano-, bioteknologi og teknologikonvergensHavbrukAnnen havbruksrelevant forskning