The phylogenetic structure and community composition were analysed in an existing data set of marine bacterioplankton communities to elucidate the evolutionary and ecological processes dictating the assembly. The communities were sampled from coastal waters at nine locations distributed worldwide and were examined through the use of comprehensive clone libraries of 16S ribosomal RNA genes. The analyses show that the local communities are phylogenetically different from each other and that a majority of them are phylogenetically clustered, i.e. the species (operational taxonomic units) were more related to each other than expected by chance. Accordingly, the local communities were assembled non-randomly from the global pool of available bacterioplankton. Further, the phylogenetic structures of the communities were related to the water temperature at the locations. In agreement with similar studies, including both macroorganisms and bacteria, these results suggest that marine bacterial communities are structured by "habitat filtering", i.e. through non-random colonization and invasion determined by environmental characteristics. Different bacterial types seem to have different ecological niches that dictate their survival in different habitats. Other eco-evolutionary processes that may contribute to the observed phylogenetic patterns are discussed. The results also imply a mapping between phenotype and phylogenetic relatedness which facilitates the use of community phylogenetic structure analysis to infer ecological and evolutionary assembly processes.