Seaweed extracts in plant cultivation
Seaweed extracts in plant cultivation research show that the application of seaweed extracts in plant cultivation exhibits positive effect on cultivated plants. Algae extracts improve plant resistance to frost and drought and increase crop yields. Plants sprayed with the use of seaweed extracts are also characterized by higher resistance to pests and pathogens and more efficient consumption of nutrients from soil.
Seaweed extracts contribute to the recovery of damages caused by insects and bacterial or fungal diseases. Formulations basing on algal extracts are rich in phytohormones (gibberelins, auxins, cytikinins), amino acids and fatty acids which are responsible for plant growth, development and resistance to pathogens.
Biostimulant activity of extracts obtained from marine algae is connected with the presence of plant growth regulators, particularly cytokinins mainly responsible for plant aging delay, mitosis induction, stimulation of chloroplast maturation, growth of shoot and lateral buds. The amount of cytokinins changes and their ratio to other plant growth hormones depends on the species of algae resulting in different effects of seaweed extracts on plant cultivation.
Seaweed extracts can be delivered to plants in many ways. Soaking of seeds in algal extracts is one of the methods. This way of treatment can effect seeds germination. Foliar and classical soil application can be used as well. In addition to application methods, also the concentration of seaweed extract, species of algae, plant variety affects the efficiency of seaweed extracts as plant biostimulants.