Potential of Seaweed as Bioeffector to Support
Plant Growth under Biotic and Abiotic Stress
Aiyen, Agricultural Faculty of Tadulako University
Agriculture is an economic activity that is highly dependent upon on soil fertility status, weather and climate in order to produce the food and fibre necessary to sustain human life. Not surprisingly, agriculture is deemed to be an economic activity that is expected to be vulnerable to decreasing of soil fertility due to longterm practices of agriculture, climate variability and change. On a global basis, fertility reduction of soil, climate variability and change may have an overall small effect on total food production of the world, at least in this decade. However, the regional impacts are likely to be substantial and variable, generally, food production is likely to decline in most critical regions e.g. tropical areas (subtropical). Tropical zones are the most challenging to agriculture because having intense biotic (pests) and abiotic (drought, soil acidity, low nutrients, high turnover rate of organic matter etc) stresses. All these challenges will be intensified with the global climatic changes. And worst is such as In Indonesia, often employ inappropriate adaptive adjustment. Appropriate adaptive adjustments to sustain agriculture production in general is to ensure soil fertility status in dimension of biogeochemistry by maintaining optimal microbial activity, serve enough organic matter, and concern on nutrient and water efficiency used in the field.
Seaweeds are ancient relatives of terrestrial plants and play a similar ecological role in coastal systems. They are also recognized of historical dietary and medicinal importance to various human cultures. Their extracts have extensive industrial applications, and more recently their activity as antioxidants and antibiotics has been investigated. It is claimed that human consumption of some seaweeds imparts health benefits. Thus, can seaweeds application in soil also benefit on plant production?
Meanwhile, seaweed in particular extracted seaweeds are aggressively marketed in Indonesia, however this product is sold with little regard for objective and scientific research. On other hand, there were some studies in small scale that showed seaweeds in form of crude and or liquid were able to improve nutrient status, growth and yield significantly of several crops. In our preliminary study, the addition of the non- and composted seaweed increased water holding capacity of soil, mineral nutrients content of crop, root length, shoot and root dry biomass. Ultimately, there is a potential use of seaweed as bioeffector, this will also help farmer as the more variation of utilization the better the price of seaweed in market. Method of seaweed planting e.g. in Central Sulawesi is very much nature; hand seeding on the coastal areas, and no artificial fertilization is added. It is good news while the ecological impacts of this traditional seaweed industry is seen in overall negligible, thus might useful to cultivate more seaweeds due to increasing of sea temperature and carbon penetration.
Keywords: Seaweed, Soil, climate, and Bioeffector
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