Last week the 12th International Congress of Phycology 2021 (IPC 2021,International Phycological Congress 2021), where the work developed by a scientific team associated with the Department of Cs. Ecological of the U. de Chile (DECECOL), Department of Cs. Biologicals of the U. Católica del Norte together with its Center for Research and Technological Development in Algae and Biological Resources (CIDTA) and the Department of Ecology of the U. Católica.
The work titled “Using chimeric kelp production as Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for ecosystemic services restoration”, Which used macroalgae chimeras to restore ecosystems and reduce vulnerability to climate change, was recognized with the Papenfuss Prize for its innovation in applied conservation phycology.
The collaborative study led by Dr. Alejandra González (DECECOL), showed that using chimeric algae generated with higher growth strains (Patent No. No. 2017-1827), both in laboratory cultures and in their natural environment, increases diversity 5 times local genetics and had higher survival rates (1 to 3 times higher), generated an increase in biomass and greater numbers of stipes and fronds in individuals. In addition, chimeric individuals had higher recruitment and were more resilient under stressful environmental conditions (increased temperature), compared to unmanipulated control individuals.
This work highlighted the importance in terms of conservation and climate change, of evaluating the impact of local genetic diversity on natural populations and its potential effect on the entire marine ecosystem, considering the fundamental role that macroalgae forests play in these.