Literally meaning: “planted all over”
Origin: Anc Greek
περί-/peri- (=combining form meaning “around”)
+ φυτόν/phyto(=plant) > φύω/phyo(=germinate, grow)
Although the term is used in general for all aquatic organisms on any submerged substrate the word “periphyton” was initially coined by Russian biologists, concerning assemblages of microorganisms that grew to artificial substrates in water.
Periphyton is a complex mixture of algae and heterotrophic microorganisms that is attached to submerged surfaces in most aquatic ecosystems. Periphyton is providing food for invertebrates.