A Possible Synergistic Approach: Case Study of Saccharina latissima Extract and Nitrifying Bacteria in LettuceDiana Pacheco, João Cotas, Leonel Pereira, Kiril Bahcevandziev
- Ocean Engineering
- Water Science and Technology
- Civil and Structural Engineering
Nowadays, the exponential expansion in human population has resulted in the massification of intensive agricultural practices, with crop yield and sustainability being one of the most pressing challenges. Therefore, there was a need for new and natural fertilizers and pesticides, which has become a popular agricultural trend nowadays. Therefore, there was an increased interest to apply seaweed and bacterial extracts in agriculture to promote new means of sustainability and soil usage. This work aims to test seaweed inclusion in the agricultural field, as a simple or complex foliar biofertilizer solution applied together with a nitrifying bacteria, to verify if there is a potential synergistic effect of these two different types of biofertilizers on economically important vegetables. As a result, experiments were conducted in a greenhouse using an aqueous extract of the brown seaweed Saccharina latissima (1.2% v/v) and a biofertilizer based on BlueN bacteria (0.03% m/v), both simple or in combination, on lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. crispa) plants. The seaweed extract (simple or in combination), presented favorable effect on lettuce growth and nutritional properties. The aqueous algal extract, and it in combination with BlueN, produced heavier lettuce leaves (74.25 ± 6.86 and 74.13 ± 3.07 g, respectively) than the controls and enriched leaf micronutrient contents (zinc and manganese). Also, this study demonstrated that a combined seaweed-bacteria fertilizer did not show synergistic behavior, being a non-profitable solution when compared to a simple seaweed extract. In summary, this study demonstrated that simple (crude) seaweed extracts can be considered as an important key for natural plant biofertilizers and growth stimulators concerned with the blue circular economy.