Ecosystem Function

The term ecosystem function describes processes that occur within the ecosystem regarding a certain resource and the ways in which organisms interact. The ecosystem function of oysters coincides with many of the common and efficient aquaculture practices. For example, oyster species naturally occur in high population densities for structure formation and reproduction. Bivalves feed mainly on phytoplankton, which, as plants, take in nitrogen and phosphorous from the water. Bivalves consume the particulate matter and then excrete the nitrogen and phosphorus to be reused in the ecosystem. 

Phytoplankton, eventually consumed by shellfish.