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Three to four stations located in the Laurentian Trough were investigated six times during four missions. Three missions were conducted during periods of expected maximal biological production according to the seasonal variation in the lower St. Lawrence Estuary. Two missions took place during the principal summer bloom, and one was conducted during a secondary bloom in the fall. The fourth mission occurred during a period of low surface production, following the melting of the ice cover. The physico-chemical and biological characteristics present during all missions distinguished the upwelling region (stations 67 and 26) from the plume region (stations 23 and 95). We generally measured the highest salinities and lowest temperatures in the upwelling region whereas the lowest salinities and the highest temperatures were observed in the plume region. The significant relationships between phytoplankton biomass, surface production, and surface and deep respiration indicated that there was a coupling between the surface biological activity and the aphotic metabolism over a seasonal scale. Different explanations are presented to qualitatively and quantitatively describe the respiration/production budgets during these missions.
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