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The collection of organisms, such as algae and bacteria, that live on the surface of submerged plants and other underwater objects.

[New Latin, from Greek periphuton, from neuter sing. of periphutos, planted all over, from periphuein, to grow around, cling to : peri-, peri- + phuein, to grow; see bheuə- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Environmental Science) 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 and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(pəˈrɪf ɪˌtɒn)

the community of tiny organisms, as hydras and snails, that lives on the tops of rooted aquatic plants.
[1940–45; probably peri- + Greek phŷton plant, -phyte, on the model of plankton]
per•i•phyt•ic (ˌpɛr əˈfɪt ɪk) adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The interactions between aquatic macrophytes, phytoplankton and zooplankton in association with other components of the food web (fishes, periphyton and invertebrates) contributed significantly for publications worlwide and in South America (n = 20;5).
In phytoplankton and periphyton cultures, Vieira (1977) compare different methods and antimicrobials to maintain cultures of 12 different species of microalgae bacteria-free.
A comparison of fertilization, feeding and three periphyton substrates for increasing fish production in freshwater pond aquaculture in Bangladesh.
Periphyton and benthic flamentous algae in standing waters are commonly inhabited by ciliates, rotifers, cnidarians, small oligochaetes, larval stages of Chironomidae, Trichoptera, Mollusca and small cladocerans (Lodge 1990, Ravera & Jamet 1991).
Biotic and abiotic uptake of phosphorus by periphyton in a subtropical freshwater wetland.
The influence of large water level fluctuations and hurricanes on periphyton and associated nutrient storage in subtropical Lake Okeechobee, USA.
One sustainable solution to attain a greater productivity in aquaculture is to increase the use of the natural foods available in the system, such as bioflocs and periphyton. Beyond their nutritional value, bioflocs and periphyton are also capable to remove nitrogen, phosphorus and toxic compounds from the water (Azim & Little, 2008).
Two possible ways to increase the aquaculture yield with environmental sustainability are (1) use of underwater substrates for periphyton and (2) correction of the C: N ratio of water (Avnimelech, 2006).
It includes identification keys to algae, periphyton, protozoa, freshwater invertebrates, and plankton, and discussion of catchments and their nutrients and organic matter; the ecological development of ponds and lakes; food webs and structures in ponds; problems, such as acid rain and loss of nutrients; and future issues, such as water supply, food security, and climate change.
Kilroy, "Identification guide to common periphyton in New Zealand streams and rivers," in Stream Periphyton Monitoring Manual, The New Zealand Ministry for the Environment, NIWA Christchurch, New Zealand, 2000.
The GB has a dark coloration, large surface, soft texture, and high porosity, which may improve the space available for periphyton development.