||The toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) mixtures was evaluated on natural phytoplankton communities sampled from lagoons of Bizerte (South-western Mediterranean Sea) and Thau (North-western Mediterranean Sea). PAHs induced short-term dose and ecosystem-dependant decreases in photosynthetic potential. Chlorophyll a was negatively affected by increasing PAHs concentrations, together with dramatic changes in phytoplankton community composition. Size classes were strongly affected in the Bizerte compare to the Thau lagoon, with a decrease in nano- and microphytoplankton densities compare to picophytoplankton. In both locations, the diatom Entomoneis paludosa appeared favoured under PAH exposure as evidenced by increase in cell density, whereas autotrophic flagellates and dinophytes were strongly reduced. Smaller cells were more tolerant to exposure to highest PAHs concentrations, with persistent picophytoplankton carbon biomass at the end of the incubations. Apparent recovery of photosynthetic potential, accompanied with a regrowth of chlorophyll a under the lowest PAH doses, coincided with a significantly altered community composition in both lagoons. Furthermore, sensitivity to PAHs was not related to the phytoplankton cell size, and toxicity-induced modification of top-down control by grazers during the experiment cannot be excluded.