Factsheets for Brown Seaweeds (phylum Phaeophyta)

Genus: Lessonia Trade names: lessonia Symbol: LE
AuthorityBory de Saint-Vincent Type species: Lessonia fuscescens Bory de Saint-Vincent
Commercial species:  nigriscens (NIG), trabeculata (TRA)
Common names: Birnentang, Brown kelp, Giant bladder kelp, Giant Kelp
Classification: Eukaryota, Phylum Heterokontophyta, Order Laminariales, Family Lessoniaceae.
AlgaeBase names and species:  20 names - 10 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
Useful food & alginate source - wild harvest.
Careful management of harvest required to prevent habitat damage.
Description
Lessonia plants are usually olive green to nearly black and up to 6 m long. Holdfast, up to 50 cm in diameter with variable number of stipes 2-3 m long and up to 4 cm in diameter. Stipes divide dichotomously 2-3 times then become flat, lanceolate blades with straight, denticulate margins. Holdfast formed of interwoven haptera that entangle and fuse to produce a single large unit.  Holdfasts may form cavities used as habitat by diverse invertebrate species.
Habitat
Attach to rocks in the intertidal and low subtidal in exposed or moderately protected habitats where they are generally the dominant species.

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Lessonia production
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Tons per annum
wild harvest
Tons per annum
cultivated
Chile 24,754 0
Total 

24,754

24,754 0
Production
Approximate annual production figures from recent years are as above.
Biology & Agronomy
Wild harvest.
Chemistry
Contain alginates.
Processing
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
Commercial source of alginates.
List of species' uses and community affiliations
Genus GenID SpID Species Uses Communities
Lessonia LE NIG nigrescens FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Lessonia LE NIG nigrescens FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP
Lessonia LE TRA trabeculata FA, FI, FF, IA, PA AI, BP

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Lessonia is most strongly associated with the Agri-Industry and  Biopolymer communities.
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