Spring 2008 Update: Annual Conditions of the Northeast Shelf Ecosystem
The Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem experienced cooler than average sea surface temperatures through much of 2007, with the exception of last winter and part of the fall period. The most dramatic variation from mean conditions occurred last winter when SSTs were in excess of two standard deviations above the recent term mean. Variations in SST since then have been generally within one standard deviation. Winter and spring chlorophyll concentrations were well above the recent trend mean. The spring bloom over the extent of the shelf reached concentrations greater than 3 mg m-3, remembering that the progression of the spring bloom develops differently in the different subregions. The balance of the phytoplankton cycle was of average chlorophyll concentration essentially matching the recent trend means through the summer and fall. Large variations in fall chlorophyll concentrations reflect the highly variable fall bloom patterns within the subregions. Zooplankton biomasses were below average in the spring of 2007 and then near or above average for the remainder of the year.