Species profile: life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates (Gulf of Mexico) -- American oyster




Stanley, Jon G. and Sellers, Mark A.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior; Coastal Ecology Group, Waterways Experiment Station, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Species profiles are literature summaries of the taxonomy, morphology, life history, and environmental requirements of coastal aquatic species. They are designed to assist in environmental impact assessment. The American oyster, Crassostrea virginica, is an important commercial species. Spawning occurs repeatedly during warmer months with millions of eggs released. Embryos and larvae are carried by currents throughout the estuaries and oceanic bays where they occur. The surviving larvae cement themselves to a solid object, where they remain for the remainder of life. Unable to move, they must tolerate changes in the environment that range from -2 to 36 degrees Celsius (air temperature), 2 to 40 ppt salinity, and clear or muddy water. The density and occurrence of adults is limited by predators, chiefly oyster drills, whelks, fish, and crabs.


33 pgs.


oysters, Crassostrea virginica, life history, estuaries, spawning, environmental factors, salinity, american oyster, coastal ecology