Definition of periphyton in US English:



  • Freshwater organisms attached or clinging to plants and other objects projecting above the bottom sediments.

    ‘the tadpoles used in this experiment feed primarily on periphyton’
    • ‘This increased force could permit wood frog tadpoles to scrape a type of periphyton that is more resistant to harvest or to harvest periphyton more efficiently.’
    • ‘They are commonly called ‘pondscum’, and make up the filamentous periphyton in ponds, growing on and around the larger aquatic plants.’
    • ‘Four examples of competitive interactions are thoroughly examined: periphyton vs. phytoplankton, macrophytes, snails vs. tadpoles, and fish.’
    • ‘The tadpoles used in this experiment feed primarily on periphyton by scraping the surfaces of tank walls and leaves.’
    • ‘A spongy, Dijon-colored city of algae and microscopic creatures that floats on the surface, periphyton cleanses the Everglades of excess nutrients and pollutants.’


1960s: from Greek peri- ‘around’ + phuton ‘plant’.