Sustainable Agriculture Student Research Project

Effect of Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed extract and powder on vegetative growth characteristics and foliar nutrient content of Vitis spp. hybrid cv. L’Acadie Blanc

Rob Hines, Department of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, 2020


Seaweeds are used in agriculture to provide nutrients, biostimulation and soil conditioning, among other benefits if harvested sustainably. Wine grape (Vitis vinifera) varietals grown in coastal regions may benefit from a locally available seaweed amendment. Existing studies show mixed response from the use of seaweed extracts on wine grapes. This research studies the effect of Ascophyllum nodosum, a North Atlantic seaweed species on Vitis spp. hybrid cv. L’Acadie Blanc white wine grapes. We conducted a two factor, eight treatment experiment, with A. nodosum powder and extract at four levels, to compare efficacy by measuring vegetative growth characteristics and foliar nutrient concentration of grape vines (V. vinifera cv. ‘L’Acadie Blanc’). Total number of nodes, number of growing points, length of the longest shoot, and many macro and micro nutrients in leaves were measures. This research will assess whether amending vineyard soil before establishment with seaweed powder will result in potential benefits to wine grape plant growth.


This research will be of particular interest to grape growers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, who are seeking soil amendments to improve vegetative growth of grape vines, especially during the establishment phase of a vineyard, where locally available rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) is available for purchase or harvest. Grape growers in other regions with similar climates, such as British Columbia may also be interested due to the wide availability of seaweed meal and extract products, either of A. nodosum or other species that are thought to provide similar benefits.


  • Test for effects of seaweed species Ascophyllum nodosum (AN) on vegetative growth characteristics and foliar nutrient composition of Vitis spp. hybrid cv. L’Acadie Blanc (LB).
  • Compare extract and powder forms of AN in terms of effects on cv. LB.

Funding and Support:

KPU Student-Led Research Grants