Ecosystem overviews

Azores ecosystem overview

Our ecosystem overviews use risk-based methods to identify the main human pressures and explain how these affect key ecosystem components in each ICES ecoregion
​​​​​​​​​​​​For this overview, the Azores ecoregion corresponds to the Azores Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) inside ICES Subarea 10. The ecoregion lies within a much larger open ocean ecosystem, and straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). The Azores is a Portuguese archipelago composed of nine islands with almost no geological continental shelf, and the Azores Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) includes 461 identified seamounts.

Key signals

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Subtropical Gyre primarily influences the ecoregion where surface conditions have recently been warmer than average, particularly in the Gulf Stream region. A northward shift of the subtropical front there may explain the 3°C warming anomaly.
  • There is an indication that the size composition of the plankton community is shifting towards smaller taxa.
  • The annual rate of discovery of non-indigenous species increased from 1.1 per year between 1950 and 1999, to 2.1 per year between 2000 and 2015.​
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Azores ecosystem overview

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