Volatile halocarbon emissions by three tropical brown seaweeds under different irradiances

Fiona Seh-Lin Keng, Siew-Moi Phang, Noorsaadah Abd Rahman, Emma C. Leedham, Claire Hughes, Andrew D. Robinson, Neil R. P. Harris, John A. Pyle, William T. Sturges

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The emission rates of eight volatile halogenated compounds by three tropical brown seaweed species collected from Cape Rachado, west coast Peninsular Malaysia, under different irradiances have been determined. A purge-and-trap sample preparation system with a gas chromatograph and mass-selective detector was used to measure a suite of halocarbons released by Sargassum binderi Sonder ex J. Agardh, Padina australis Hauck, and Turbinaria conoides (J. Agardh) Kützing. All species are widely distributed in Peninsular Malaysia, with S. binderi a dominant seaweed species at our survey site. Release of few halocarbons was found to be influenced by irradiance. Correlations were also observed between emission of certain halocarbons with photosynthetic activity, especially bromo-and iodinated compounds (0.6 < r <0.9; p < 0.01) suggesting that environmental factors such as light can affect the release of these volatile halogenated compounds by the seaweeds into the atmosphere. Compared with temperate and polar brown seaweeds, tropical species, such as T. conoides, may emit higher levels of bromoform, CHBr3, and other halocarbons. It is therefore important to investigate the contribution of tropical seaweeds towards the local atmospheric composition of halocarbons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1386
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Phycology
Issue number5
Early online date29 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Brown seaweeds
  • Tropical
  • Volatile halocarbons
  • Emission
  • Irradiance
  • F v/F m

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