Distributional patterns in assemblages of epiphytic and sediment-associated diatoms were investigated in Netarts Bay, Oregon. The method of reciprocal averaging revealed a floristic discontinuity between the epiphytic and sediment samples in ordination space. The basis for the discontinuity was the presence of a large number of sediment-associated taxa that were either very rare or not observed in the epiphyic samples. Within the sediment samples, the diatom flora formed a distributional continuium which had relatively high correlations with mean grain size, a sediment sorting coefficient, and the organic matter content of the sediment. A comparison of the flora in Netarts Bay with floras in other Oregon estuaries indicates that epiphytic, epilithic, and sediment-associated diatom assemblages do not exhibit conspicuous latitudinal changes along the coast of Oregon.