Research Document - 2007/079

Identification of ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSA) in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence: Primary production

By Lavoie, D., M. Starr, B. Zakardjian, and P. Larouche


In this report, we analyse of a large set of chlorophyll a, nitrate, and primary production observations gathered from the early 70’s as well as results from a 3D coupled physical-biological model to identify ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs) for primary production in the Gulf and Estuary of St. Lawrence. High phytoplankton production and Chl a concentration are found successively in all regions of the Gulf and Estuary of St. Lawrence, and thus all regions are important for phytoplankton production at one time or another during the year. However, only a few regions stand out as EBSAs if we consider their importance on an annual basis, based on uniqueness and aggregation criteria as defined in CSAS Ecosystem Status Report 2004/006. The most important zones are the Lower Estuary, the Gaspé Current, and the Northwestern Gulf.

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