noun Ecology.
the community of tiny organisms, as protozoans, hydras, insect larvae, and snails, that lives on the surfaces of rooted aquatic plants.

1940–45; probably peri- + Greek phŷton plant, -phyte, on the model of plankton

periphytic [per-uh-fit-ik] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
periphyton (pəˈrɪfɪˌtɒn)
aquatic organisms, such as certain algae, that live attached to rocks or other surfaces
[C20: from Greek, from peri- + phutos, from phuein to grow]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
For example, a periphyton model was built to examine the interactive relationship between periphyton and phosphorus.
Periphyton is a complex mixture of algae, microbes, and detritus that creates a thick mat on the ground of the prairies.
Also included in this year's report is a discussion of the role of periphyton as basic nutrition for wildlife food webs.
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