||Effects of sediment-released contaminants and nitrogen were assessed on phytoplankton communities sampled from Thau lagoon (France, Mediterranean Sea) and one close offshore marine station. Phytoplankton was exposed to sediment elutriate (seawater containing a mix of metals, organic chemicals, and nutrients) or to ammonium enrichment for four days using immersed microcosms exposed to natural conditions of light and temperature. Functional (production – respiration balance) and structural (taxonomy and cell densities) responses of the phytoplankton community were assessed. In the lagoon, both treatments stimulated phytoplankton growth, compare to controls. Conversely in the offshore station, the phytoplankton growth was stimulated only with the sediment elutriate addition. In offshore and lagoon stations, both treatments caused a shift in the taxonomic composition of the phytoplankton. Proliferation of potentially toxic diatoms and dinoflagellates resulted from the addition of elutriate. Correspondence analysis determined that phytoplankton from the offshore station was more sensitive to both treatments compared to the lagoon community. According to daily production and respiration balance, lagoon community metabolism remained heterotrophic (P < R) for all treatments, whereas only transient shifts to net autotrophy (P> R) were observed in the offshore community. Direct toxicity of contaminants released from sediment, if any, was therefore masked by nutrient enrichment effects, whereas indirect evidence of contaminant pressure was highlighted by changes in community composition and metabolism. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.