Lecturer: Senior Scientist in Marine Ecology Annette Bruhn, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University.
Under the sea surface, seaweed grows in a multitude of different colors, shapes and sizes. Seaweed forests that grow along the shores of the globe are just as important in marine ecosystems as forests are for life on land. From the poles to the equator, seaweed creates both food bases and hiding places for countless marine organisms – for example, fish and small animals. At the same time, seaweed helps to keep both the marine environment and the climate in balance as seaweeds absorb nutrients from the seawater, absorb CO2 from the atmosphere, produce oxygen and counteract acidification of the sea.
People have been using seaweed as a resource since the dawn of time. Seaweed has been harvested in the sea or picked up from the beach, and several peoples have developed mind-boggling systems for growing seaweed. Seaweed has been used for food, feed for livestock, fertilizer for the fields and as a raw material for the production of chemicals and additives. Did you know, for example, that the substances from seaweed give your cocoa milk the creamy texture, bind a little extra water in the hamburger back and make your toothpaste stick together?
All over the world, research is being done on growing and using seaweed for new purposes such as bioenergy, plastics and textiles. In the field of medical science, too, new possibilities are discovered in seaweed: maybe seaweed can cure bowel diseases and Alzheimer’s in the future. And in agriculture there are promising prospects that substances from seaweed can reduce cows’ emissions of greenhouse gas methane.
With the increasing need for more sustainable resources on Earth, more focus has been placed on seaweed. More and more people are getting the courage to harvest and eat seaweed – also in Denmark; though most of us should just get used to the tangy taste of umami with its notes of green peas, grass, licorice or bacon.
Seaweed is not actually plants – they are algae. Hear what seaweed and algae really are for any creatures – and what sets them apart from plants and animals. Also hear about the distinctive ways seaweed is propagating how to grow seaweed and whether sustainable solutions for seaweed can contribute in the future. Can we save the whole world with seaweed?
27 Oct 18:00