An integrated approach for the identification of biologically important regions and the production of ecosystem indicators in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence


A biodiversity map of the Gulf of St. Lawrence created at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute (IML) shows the number of taxons (biodiversity) of zooplankton in Gulf waters for the summers of 2006 and 2007. (Red areas are high in biodiversity, blue areas are low).

Evaluating and reporting on ecosystem status, and producing tools for ecosystem-based management are two key themes of the SPERA program. This project will use historical data collected from 2006 to 2009 in the north and south of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to create a database that describes how different organisms are distributed, including invertebrates, zooplankton, pelagic fish (species that live neither near the bottom or the shore), and demersal (or bottom-feeding) fish. The project will also establish biodiversity indicators, and the resulting database will be used to identify areas of biological interest. The data will be integrated into the existing geographically referenced database, Fish Habitat Management Information System (FHMIS). Data on marine mammals will eventually be collected and added to the database, and the area of study will be extended to the Scotian Shelf and the Bay of Fundy.

Program Name

Strategic Program for Ecosystem-based Research and Advice (SPERA)


Central Canada: Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Freshwater Drainage Basin

Principal Investigator(s)

Stéphane Plourde

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