Definition of benthos in English:



  • The flora and fauna found on the bottom, or in the bottom sediments, of a sea, lake, or other body of water.

    • ‘A number of studies have examined patterns of body size distribution in benthos across or within systems, with little consensus toward general principles.’
    • ‘The presence of other specialized benthos at the crinoid-bearing localities indicates that the ocean bottom locally was not fully anoxic.’
    • ‘Even if an intertidal zone existed, sea ice disturbance, as well as the unstable, gravelly substrate, would make it uninhabitable by intertidal benthos, epifauna, or epiphytes.’
    • ‘Several invertebrate groups that are conspicuous deep sea benthos are rare or absent from vent communities.’
    • ‘In this study, we examine how the size structure of benthos in lakes and predation by fishes were related over five years under seminatural gradients of fish biomass and predation pressure in three north-temperate experimental lakes.’


Late 19th century: from Greek, ‘depth of the sea’.