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noun Ecology.
  1. 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 formsper·i·phyt·ic [per-uh-fit-ik] /ˌpɛr əˈfɪt ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for periphytic


  1. 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 Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012