phyto-, phyt-, -phyte
(Greek: a plant; growth; growing in a specified way or place; to produce)
2. The study of major constituents (active ingredients) and medicinal values of plants; toxicity or hazardous components; essential oils; value-added products and possible uses; cultivation and harvesting; diseases and insects found in medicinal plants.
3. The study of the active chemicals in plants that effect our biological systems. The plants' chemical components are studied for medical and psychoactive reactions.
Many of the chemicals of plants mimic our own bodily chemicals and in some instances enhance the normal reactions that would occur; however, sometimes they block the normal functions of our neural and other cellular functions. These are factors that must be evaluated in the phytopharmacological research of plants.
The phytoplankton consist of small plants having very limited powers of locomotion or no movement at all. They are mostly subject to distribution by water movements and they photosynthesize, producing the first level in the oceans' food chain.
Certain planktonic algae move by means of flagella, or possess various mechanisms that alter their buoyancy. Most algae are slightly denser than water, and sink into the sediment of the water.
Phytoplankton are largely restricted to lentic ("standing") waters and large rivers with relatively low current velocities.