The vertical positions of four dinoflagellate species in three 48 h periods in late summer in a Swedish fjord (the Gullmar Fjord) reflect changes to the depth of the halocline. During stable, stratified conditions, the chlorophyll a maximum exhibited a diurnal migration pattern, which was disrupted when the halocline was forced closer to the surface by the inflow of more saline water. While conditions were stable, all studied dinoflagellate species were most abundant below the halocline at 06:00 in contrast to the other times of the day when the highest cell concentrations were above the halocline, indicating diurnal vertical migration. However, when wind-induced inflow of more saline water forced the halocline closer to the surface, these patterns were disrupted and there was no sign of diurnal vertical migration. Despite this, there was a vertical heterogeneity in the distribution of dinoflagellates with Dinophysis spp. found mainly above the halocline, while Ceratium spp. also occurred in high cell numbers below the halocline. We acknowledge the importance of representative resolution when sampling in the field, both in time and concerning vertical resolution. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.