Custódio, M. et al. (including Villasante, S.) (2021). Science of the Total Environment.
Sea purslane Halimione portulacoides (L.) Aellen is a candidate extractive species for coastal Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) to recycle the dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and phosphorus (DIP) wasted by excretive species. To test its suitability, saline aquaculture effluents were simulated in the laboratory using a hydroponics approach to cultivate the plants. Nutrient extraction efficiency, growth performance and nutritional profile were assessed under a range of DIN and DIP concentrations representing three different aquaculture intensification regimes and using Hoagland’s solution as a control. Over a 10-week period, hydroponic units under non-limited N and P conditions displayed daily extraction rates between 1.5 and 2.8 mg DIN-N L−1 day−1 and 0.1–0.2 mg DIP-P L−1 day−1 and yielded between 63.0 and 73.0 g m−2 day−1 of H. portulacoides biomass. Relatively to biomass produced, H. portulacoides extracted between 2.6 and 4.2 mg DIN-N g−1 and 0.1–0.4 mg DIP-P g−1. The treatment with low-input of DIN and DIP (6.4 mg N L−1 and 0.7 mg P L−1) induced some degree of nutrient limitation, as suggested by the extremely high extraction efficiencies of DIN extraction (99%) in parallel with lower productivity. The nutritional profile of H. portulacoides leaves is comparable to that of other edible halophytes and leafy greens and could be a low-sodium alternative to salt in its lyophilized form. From the present study, we conclude that the edible halophyte H. portulacoides can be highly productive in hydroponics using saline water irrigation with non-limiting concentrations of DIN and DIP and is, therefore, a suitable extractive species for coastal IMTA in brackish waters.