Abiotic and biotic stress factors negatively influence the growth, yield, and nutritional value of economically important food and feed crops. These climate-change-induced stress factors, together with the ever-growing human population, compromise sustainable food security for all consumers across the world. Agrochemicals are widely used to increase crop yield by improving plant growth and enhancing their tolerance to stress factors; however, there has been a shift towards natural compounds in recent years due to the detrimental effect associated with these agrochemicals on crops and the ecosystem. In view of these, the use of phenolic biostimulants as opposed to artificial fertilizers has gained significant momentum in crop production. Seaweeds are marine organisms and excellent sources of natural phenolic compounds that are useful for downstream agricultural applications such as promoting plant growth and improving resilience against various stress conditions. In this review, we highlight the different phenolic compounds present in seaweed, compare their extraction methods, and describe their downstream applications in agriculture.
Keywords: abiotic stress; biotic stress; phenolic compounds; seaweed.