Crassostrea gigas are found in the sheltered water of estuaries all over the world. They prefer intertidal and shallow subtidal zones that are about three meters deep (Nehring, 2006: 6). Specimens have been found, however, at depths of up to 40m (Minchin and Gollasch, 2008: 1). They are able to grow and reproduce in salinities of 10-42 psu with 23-36 psu being optimal. They are normally found in temperatures ranging from 4-35°C. Surviving individuals have been observed at -5°C, but in order for reproduction to occur, the water temperature must be at least 20°C (Nehring, 2006: 6). The oysters can tolerate a large pH range of 6-9.2. They are able to survive in water with oxygen levels as low as 2.9 µg/l (Minchin and Gollasch, 2008: 1).
The oysters attach to most hard surfaces found in suitable waters. While rocks are preferred, they can also be found in muddy or sandy areas. They frequently attach themselves to the shells of living or dead Crassostrea gigas, or other bivalve species. In areas of high reproductive success this results in solid reefs being formed (Nehring, 2006: 6). Strong waves can be very detrimental to a population (Pauley et al., 1988: 19).
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