The meiofauna of the St Lawrence estuary was investigated in the intertidal zone of the Parc du Bic (Quebec, Canada). Five nematode assemblages were distinguished by a cluster analysis: A1 and A2 (upper-tide level); A3 (mid-tide level); A4 and A5 (low-tide level). Discriminant function analysis showed that exposure time during low tide was the most important environmental factor in determining differences between assemblages. Chlorophyll-a, phaeopigments, sediment water content, and per cent of silt followed in the same order. Nematode densities (400–1500 ind 10 cm−2) were found to be lower than those generally reported for other estuarine intertidal zones of the eastern Atlantic coast. Mean nematode biomass in the five assemblages ranged between 96±14 and 248±86 μg Corg 10 cm−2. Deposit feeders were generally the dominant nematode feeding group in terms of abundance and biomass. Correlation of epigrowth-feeders with chlorophyll-a and phaeopigments, respectively, suggested that in the upper-tide level, old or partially degraded phytodetritus contribute more to the diet of this nematode feeding group; and in the low-tide level epigrowth-feeders may rely more on ‘fresher’ phytodetritus.