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[puh-rif-i-ton] /pəˈrɪf ɪˌtɒn/
noun, Ecology
the community of tiny organisms, as protozoans, hydras, insect larvae, and snails, that lives on the surfaces of rooted aquatic plants.
Origin of periphyton
1940-45; probably peri- + Greek phŷton plant, -phyte, on the model of plankton
Related forms
[per-uh-fit-ik] /ˌpɛr əˈfɪt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for periphyton
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for periphyton


aquatic organisms, such as certain algae, that live attached to rocks or other surfaces
Word Origin
C20: from Greek, from peri- + phutos, from phuein to grow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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