Freshwater Runoff Control of the Spatio-Temporal Distribution of Phytoplankton in the Lower St.Lawrence Estuary (Canada)

  • J.-C. Therriault
  • M. Levasseur
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 7)


Sampling carried out in the Lower St.Lawrence Estuary reveals a strong influence of freshwater runoff on the spatiotemporal distribution of phytoplankton. At high discharge rates (spring and fall) the whole Lower Estuary forms a single fresh-water plume and phytoplankton distribution is mainly controlled by dilution and advective processes. At low discharge rates (summer) the two main freshwater sources form two geographically localized plumes with different physical and biological characteristics.


Phytoplankton Growth Freshwater Discharge Photic Zone Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Surface Mixed Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bugden, G.L., 1981. Salt and heat budgets for the Gulf of St.Lawrence. Can. J. Pish. Aquat. Sci., 38: 1153–1167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bugden, G.L., B.T. Hargrave, M.M. Sinclair, C.L. Tang, J.C. Therriault, and P.I. Yeats. 1982. Freshwater runoff effects in the Marine Environment: The Gulf of St.Lawrence example. Can. Tech. Rept. Pish. Aquat. Sci. No 1078, 89 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Levasseur, M., J.-C. Therriault and L. Legendre, 1984. Hierarchical control of phytoplankton succession by physical factors. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 19: 211–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Lorenzen, C.J., 1972. Extinction of light in the ocean by phytoplankton. J. Cons. int. Explor. Mer. 36: 262–267.Google Scholar
  5. Neu, H.J.A. 1976. Runoff regulation for hydro-power and its effects on the ocean environment. Hydrol. Sci. 21: 433–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Riley, G.A., 1957. Phytoplankton of the north central Sargasso sea. Limnol. Oceanogr., 2: 252–270.Google Scholar
  7. Skreslet, S., 1976. Influence of freshwater outflow from Norway on recruitment to the stock of Arctic-Norwegian cod (Gadus morhua), In Fresh Water on the Sea, S. Skreslet, R. Leineb, J.B.L. Mattews and E. Sakshaug (Eds), The association of Norwegian Oceanographers, Oslo, p. 233–237.Google Scholar
  8. Steven, D.M., 1975- Biological production in the Gulf of St.Lawrence. p. 229–248. In T.W.M. Cameron (ed)., Energy flow its biological dimensions. A summary of the IBP in Canada 1964–1974. Ottawa, Royal Society of Canada. 319 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Sutcliffe, W. H. Jr., 1973- Correlations between seasonal river discharge and local landings of american lobster (Homarus americanus) and Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) in the Gulf of St.Lawrence. J. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. 30: 856–859CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Therriault, J.C. and M. Levasseur, 1985- Control of phytoplankton production in the Lower St.Lawrence Estuary: Light and Freshwater runoff. Naturaliste Can. 112: 77–96.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.-C. Therriault
    • 1
  • M. Levasseur
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre Champlain des Sciences de la MerMinistère des Pêches et des OcéansQuébecCanada

Personalised recommendations