Seaweed and climate change: a mapping review

Seaweed has garnered increasing interest due to its capacity to mitigate climate change by curbing carbon emissions from agriculture, as well as its potential to serve as a supplement or alternative for dietary, livestock feed, or fuel source production. Moreover, seaweed is regarded as one of the earliest plant forms to have evolved on Earth. Owing to the extensive body of literature available and the uncertainty surrounding the future trajectory of seaweed research under evolving climate conditions, this review scrutinizes the structure, dynamics, and progression of the literature pertaining to seaweed and climate change. This analysis is grounded in the Web of Science Core Collection database, augmented by CiteSpace software. Furthermore, we discuss the productivity and influence of individual researchers, research organizations, countries, and scientific journals. To date, there have been 8047 articles published globally (after a series of filters and exclusions), with a notable upswing in publication frequency since 2018. The USA, China, and Australia are among the leading countries contributing to this research area. Our findings reveal that current research on seaweed and climate change encompasses 13 distinct research clusters, including “marine heatwave”, “temperate estuary”, “ocean acidification”, and “macroalgal bloom”. The most frequently cited keywords are “climate change”, “biomass”, “community”, and “photosynthesis”. The seaweed species most commonly referenced in relation to climate change include Gracilaria sp., Sargassum sp., Ecklonia maxima, and Macrocystis pyrifera. These results provide valuable guidance for shaping the direction of specialized topics concerning marine biodiversity under shifting climate conditions. We propose that seaweed production may be compromised during prolonged episodes of reduced water availability, emphasizing the need to formulate strategies to guarantee its continued viability. This article offers fresh perspectives on the analysis of seaweed research in the context of impending climate change.

Segaran T. C., Azra M. N., Handayani K. S., Lananan F. & Xu J., 2023. Seaweed and climate change: a mapping review. Marine Environmental Research: 106216. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2023.106216. Article (subscription required).

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