An assemblage of small plant organisms (mostly algae) attached to surfaces underwater or floating; may form a spongy mat insulating the ground from total dehydration during the dry season in the Everglades.
Algae growing attached to something. The following communities of periphyton can be differentiated: epipelic algae grow on fine sediments, epilithic algae grog: on rocks, epiphytic algae grow on macrophytes, epizooic algae grow on animals, and episammic algae grow on or between grains of sand. [Gk. peri, around + phyto, plant.
(Périphyton) Sessile biotal components of a freshwater ecosystem. These aquatic organisms can be attached to solid underwater surfaces such as plants, rocks, logs and other structures.(Adapted from D. N. Lapedes (Ed.), McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, Second Edition, 1978.)
Macroscopic (visible without a microscope) and microscopic (visible only with a microscope) algae (single- and multi-celled plants) that grow on or attach to rocks, logs, and aquatic plants. Periphyton, phytoplankton, and aquatic plants are the primary producers that convert nutrients into plant material by the process of photosynthesis.
Periphyton is a complex matrix of algae, cyanobacteria, heterotrophic microbes, and detritus that is attached to submerged surfaces in most aquatic ecosystems. It serves as an important food source for invertebrates, tadpoles, and some fish. It can also absorb contaminants; removing them from the watercolumn and limiting their movement through the environment.