Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The commercial red seaweed Kappaphycus alvarezii - an overview on farming and environment.

Abstract

Commercial cultivation of the red alga Kappaphycus alvarezii (Doty) Doty has been satisfying the demand of the carrageenan industry for more than 40 years. For the past four decades, this species has been globally introduced to many maritime countries for experimental and commercial cultivation as a sustainable alternate livelihood for coastal villagers. Accompanying the introduction is an increasing concern over the species effects on the biodiversity of endemic ecosystems. The introductions of non-endemic cultivars have resulted in the adaptation of quarantine procedures to minimize bioinvasions of additional invasive species. The present review focuses on Kappaphycus farming techniques through the application of biotechnological tools, ecological interactions with endemic ecosystems, future K. alvarezii farming potentials in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific, and the challenges for prospective farmers, i.e., low raw material market value, diseases, grazing, etc. The introduction of Kappaphycus cultivation to tropical countries will continue due to the high production values realized, coastal villages searching for alternative livelihoods, and the increased global industrial demand for carrageenan.