Oyster reefs are structures built primarily by the eastern oyster in their reproductive process. The oyster’s larvae need a hard surface to live on while they develop into further stages in the life cycle, and they tend to choose the shells of other oysters. As further generations develop, they continue to live and grow on the shells of their predecessors, creating a large reef structure that is submerged under shallow water. The reefs are commonly found along the southern coast of the US.
An oyster reef, also called an aquatic reef, is a solid, densely packed group of oysters into a single, unified structure. Though they are more than just oyster clusters, they, along with various fish and invertebrates, make up a complex ecosystem for which the oyster reefs provide a vital habitat.
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