Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)


Biological and Pharmaceutical Science

First Advisor

Dr Henry Lyons


A variety of mechanical and chemical extraction procedures were used to produce crude alginate gels from 3 seaweed species. These viscous hydrocolloidal substances had excellent adhesive properties but did however prove phytotoxic to germinating seeds. Experimental gels were subsequently refined and germination trials were carried out to determine optimum gel types. Pilot field trials were set up to compare the 2 most favourable gels with existing commercial hydroseeding products imported from Norway and Sweden. These tests involved the use of experimental plots on loam and sand substrates with slopes of 0^, 22^ and 45^. A number of biodegradable organic substances were tested for suitability as mulch materials in combination with the gels. These included seaweed and sewage based composts, produced specifically for this purpose. Commercial mulches imported from the U.S.A. were used as controls. Results show that optimum germination was achieved on alginate gels produced from Ascophyllum nodosum at all gel concentrations. Gels produced from Fucus and Laminaria spp. performed satisfactorily at low concentrations but germination was significantly reduced on higher gel concentrations. The optimum mixture for turf establishment by hydroseeding was a gel produced from Ascophyiium nodosum mixed with a mulch of seaweed compost, sawdust and paper. Remaining mixtures compared favourably with the control products but did however, display some limitations for use as germination media in hydroseeding.

Access Level


Included in

Biology Commons