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USP Student Presents On Seaweed And Climate Change

USP Student Presents On Seaweed And Climate Change
July 15
10:00 2017

Change in sea temperatures activate seaweed growth.

This activates the growth of two pest seaweeds which cause foul smell, displacement of corals and takes over their natural habitat.

University of the South Pacific Harshna Charan made the remarks during the second International Conference on Energy, Environment and Climate Change in Mauritius early this month.

Ms Charan, 25, of Suva is currently studying for her Master of Science in Climate Change.

Her presentation was on the effect of temperature on the growth of two pest seaweeds in Fiji.

The conference was a multi-disciplinary, peer-reviewed international conference on sustainable energy and environment.

The conference had focused on energy production and management, green energy, environmental engineering, environmental management, climate change and sustainable development.

It also provided an exchange of the latest technical information, dissemination of the high quality research results, on new developments in the area, and discussed the future global development on energy access, energy security together with the associated environmental impacts.

During the conference, Ms Charan said the increased temperatures could also be causing the growth since they are pest seaweeds which gave them an advantage over native species of seaweed.

“There were four tanks where conditions such as light irradiance, salinity and dissolved oxygen were kept constant, while temperatures varied,” Ms Charan said

“The tanks were set at 28⁰C, 30⁰C, 32⁰C and 34⁰C since the temperature of the planet is expected to increase by four degrees by 2100 (IPCC, 2013),” she said.

“The SGR for G. edulis was greater (0.79 per cent /day 0.39) at the optimal temperature of 28-30 ⁰C.

“The large standard error at 28°C seems to be due to thallus loss.

“Based on the effect of temperature on the growth of S. polycystum and G. edulis, we concluded that an increase in temperature of up to an optimal level ranging between 28 and 32⁰C can result in favourable growth of seaweed biomass and rhizoidal length.”

Ms Chand’s choice is to study climate change and its effects on the biodiversity of marine organisms and how it affects the marine life.

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