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Spring 2011 Update: Summary of Conditions of the Northeast Shelf Ecosystem
Sea surface temperature (SST) in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem moderated to cool conditions during the
second half of 2010 after the exceptionally warm conditions found during the first half of the year.
There were exceptionally robust spring phytoplankton blooms on the Northeast Shelf; however, the fall bloom was
below average. As a result, 2010 had below average chlorophyll a concentrations in contrast to the record
level set last year.
Zooplankton biomass levels were below average for the first half of the years (values are not available for the second half of the year).
Key climate drivers related to thermal conditions on Northeast Shelf were at extreme index levels, which were
associated with the warm conditions observed on the Shelf in both short and long time series.
Core thermal habitats were at a low level in 2010 caused by warming conditions that were not uniform across the
Dietary breath has been found to vary for key resource species such as cod and haddock; change in this indicator
may reflect the impact of habitat and climate change.