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Bibliography of the Maurice Lamontagne Institute

Susanne MARK

MARK, S., L. PROVENCHER, E. ALBERT, C. NOZERES, 2010. Cadre de suivi écologique de la zone de protection marine Manicouagan (Québec) : bilan des connaissances et identification des composantes écologiques à suivre. Rapp. tech. can. sci. halieut. aquat., 2914, 135 p .

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Le secteur marin au large de la péninsule de Manicouagan a été ciblé comme future zone de protection marine (ZPM) en vue de conserver et protéger cet espace marin productif et diversifié. Dans le cadre du programme Santé des Océans, la Direction régionale des sciences du ministère des Pêches et des Océans doit fournir aux gestionnaires des ZPM (Direction régionale des océans, de l’habitat et des espèces en péril) une recommandation de suivi écologique pour chacune des ZPM. Le développement d’un suivi écologique comprend trois étapes : dresser le portrait de la zone, concevoir le suivi et, enfin, le réaliser. Le présent document traite des deux premières étapes en dressant le portrait de l’écosystème de la ZPM Manicouagan à partir des connaissances disponibles et en ciblant les composantes écologiques à suivre pour évaluer l’atteinte des objectifs de conservation de la ZPM. Deux groupes de composantes ont été sélectionnés : 1) celui des composantes dites représentatives de la ZPM qui permettront d’évaluer la performance de la ZPM dans l’atteinte des objectifs de conservation et 2) celui des composantes qui permettront un suivi de l’état global de l’écosystème de la ZPM et apporteront un support à l’interprétation des indicateurs de performance.

MUNRO, J. (PRÉSIDENT), S. MARK, L. PROVENCHER, E. ALBERT, 2008. Compte rendu des ateliers sur l’élaboration du cadre de suivi écologique de la future zone de protection marine Manicouagan, Québec, le 15 décembre 2006, le 24 janvier 2007, le 7 mars 2007, Mont-Joli ; Proceedings of the workshops held for preparing the ecological monitoring framework of the future Manicouagan Marine Protected Area, Quebec, December 15, 2006, January 24, 2007, March 7, 2007, Mont-Joli. MPO, Secrétariat canadien de consultation scientifique, Série des comptes rendus ; DFO, Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat, Proceedings Series, 2008/023, 112 p .

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The Manicouagan Marine Protected Area is about to be created under the Oceans Act. Following the designation of the MPA, monitoring must be undertaken to determine whether the area’s conservation objectives are being met. The Manicouagan MPA objectives aim to maintain biological productivity and diversity and to ensure sustainable exploitation of the resources. The development of a monitoring plan was initiated by drafting an ecological monitoring framework, presenting the ecological information on the area and identifying the existing and potential monitoring programs, as well as the information that needs to be obtained. In order to complete and improve the monitoring framework, three workshops that focussed on 1) exploited resources, 2) productivity and oceanography, and 3) biological diversity in the region including and immediately surrounding the MPA were held at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute in the winter of 2006-07. Most of the participants are affiliated with the DFO Regional Science Branch. Workshop 1: Using the available information on the principal exploited biological resources in the MPA, the specialists proposed to monitor the whelk and softshell clam populations. Several indicators were recommended for these species. The current monitoring of snow crab should suffice to monitor its population status in the MPA. Workshop 2: Knowledge on the biological oceanography for the entire St. Lawrence Estuary, as presented by the experts, was used to express hypotheses about the water dynamics in the MPA. Freshwater flows from rivers, wind and cold water upwellings were identified as determining processes in the area. The vast foreshore, the underwater bay and the coastal slope are likely to be significant productivity sectors. It was assessed that phytoplankton (especially toxic algae), filter-feeding shellfish near the estuaries, eelgrass beds, salt marshes and juvenile fish noticeably contribute to the region’s productivity. Experts recommend to monitor the organisms that are produced in the area, particularly sedentary organisms, constantly subjected to the MPA conditions. The environmental pressures affecting key components were considered and a need to know and monitor sediment contamination levels was identified. Workshop 3: Available information on the biological diversity in the MPA was presented. Eelgrass beds, salt marshes and mollusc-dominated communities seem important for the diversity of the coastal area. The groundfish diversity appears to be high in the MPA. For the entire MPA, several epibenthos assemblages were mapped. Data from deeper waters are limited, but experts estimate that endobenthos and suprabenthos are important groups. Snow crab, occurring almost throughout the MPA, can act as a structuring predator in benthic communities. The sector’s geology and bank erosion were the topic of a presentation, as well as the possible use of biomarkers and genetics in monitoring. Overall, an ecosystemic monitoring focusing on the system’s key components is accepted by the peers, but the distribution and intensity of the environmental pressures must also be taken into account in the overall approach. For future indicator species, species with direct development and of low mobility should be preferred.

MARK, S., L. PROVENCHER, J. MUNRO, 2003. Approach for the assessment and monitoring of marine ecosystem health with application to the Mya-Macoma community. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 2491, 78 p .

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This report develops a framework for monitoring and assessing marine ecosystem healt at the level of biological communities in the littoral zone. We initially present the concept of ecosystem health. Thereafter we describe the methodology to reach a set of indicators in four major steps. First, we identify the major issues affecting a specific community. Secondly, we identify the ecological properties likely to be affected at the different ecosystem levels. Thirdly, we suggest possible indicators of these properties for the Mya-Macoma community. Fourthly, we explore the establishment of objectives and benchmarks necessary for an assessment. Throughout these steps, relevant definitions and concepts are presented. After this process, we evaluate the indicators suggested for the Mya-Macoma communauty according to a set of criteria and propose a series of indicators in view of each major issue affecting this community (fisheries, contamination, habitat change, and climate change). The process emphasises the need for a prioritisation at every step, consequently limiting the number of parameters needed for surveying important ecosystem components and their functions. The work presented in this report focuses on the Mya-Macoma communauty, but the approach proposed can also be applied to other communities or to another level of the ecosystem.