Factsheets for Brown Seaweeds (phylum Phaeophyta)

Genus: Ascophyllum Trade name: ascophyllum Symbol: AS
AuthorityStackhouse Type species: Ascophyllum nodosum (Linnaeus) Le Jolis
Commercial species:  nodosum (NOD)
Common names: Asco, Feamainn bhuí, Feamainn bhuidhe bhoilgíneach, Grisetang, Knobbed Wrack, Knotentang, Knotted wrack, Knuppetang, Lichen belt, Pigweed, Rockweeds, Sea Whistle 
Classification: Eukaryota, Phylum Heterokontophyta, Order Fucales, Family Fucaceae. 
AlgaeBase names and species:  12 names - 1 current as of 12-2001.
Comprehensive lists of common names , generic & specific names can be found at AlgaeBase. >>Click here<<  for SuriaLink's policy on names.
SuriaLink SeaPlant Utility Rating
Significant polymer source - not farmed
Harvesting must use good  conservation practices.
Coarse, rubbery fronds with hollow bladders along the thallus. Can be up to 2 metres long. Colour ranges from very dark green to yellow-green depending on habitat.
Grows in the low intertidal zones in fairly protected areas of rocky shores with clean, full-salinity seawater in temperate areas. Individual plants may grow isolated on rocks scattered over sandy or muddy bottom but thick, extensive stands can occur in rocky areas with good water exchange.

Ascophyllum production
click country to go to GIS
Tons per annum
wild harvest
Tons per annum
Canada 2,500 0
China 3,000 0
Iceland 4,400 0
Ireland 9,000 0
France 1,700 0
Norway 6,600 0
UK 3,500 0
USA 300 0


31,000 0
Approximate annual production figures from recent years are as above.
Biology & Agronomy
Ascophyllum is not farmed and is harvested intensively in many areas of its distribution.
Contains alginates. SuriaLink has a monograph in preparation on the chemistry of alginates.
We have several monographs in progress covering analytical procedures post-harvest treatment and process technology. Check the processing index for available web pages and monographs. 
Products, Uses & Applications
Ascophyllum is (or has been) a significant source of raw material for the alginate industries of Eastern North America and Western Europe. Dried, pulverised Ascophyllum is used as a "meal" for use as an animal feed additive and it is also used as a raw material for the production of hydrolysates used as plant food or fertiliser.
List of species' uses and community affiliations
Genus GenID SpID Species Uses Communities
Ascophyllum AS NOD nodosum FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP

click to relevant uses or communities on the index/legend table below>>>

    to uses                                                    to communities  

Ascophyllum is most strongly associated with the Agro-industry and Biopolymer communities.

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