Light is the primary limiting factor for macroalgal production. Understanding not only the quantity but also the quality of light reaching algal thalli is important to the success of algal recovery and sustainability. This study explores the optical properties of accumulated matter on the thalli of Ecklonia kurome and suspended matter in the water surrounding an Ecklonia bed in Hiroshima Bay, based on spectral absorption coefficient estimated by the quantitative filter technique (QFT) method.
According to the experiments, minimal difference of optical properties between suspended matter and accumulated matter was recognized. It is assumed that suspended matter in the water formed the accumulated matter on the thalli of E. kurome. Both suspended matter and accumulated matter were composed of multiple components, various kinds of microalgae, detritus and inorganic matter. In the wavelength-specific photosynthetically active radiation (400-700nm), detritus and inorganic matter formed the primary absorber of blue light, while microalgal pigments was the primary absorber of red light. Each absorber in suspended and accumulated matter might attenuate specific wavelength and change the quality of light reaching the thalli of E. kurome.