The responses of nematode communities to short-term hypoxia (1 and 7 days) were investigated in three North Sea stations with different sediment types (coarse silt, fine sand and medium sand). In the field, nematode density, diversity, vertical distribution and community structure differ among the stations. In the laboratory, oxic and hypoxic treatments were established for 1 and 7 days for all sediment types. Comparison between field control and oxic day 1 treatments showed that experimental sediment handling did not affect nematode characteristics. Our results revealed that short-term hypoxia did not affect total density, diversity, community composition, vertical density profiles (except in the fine sand) and densities of five dominant species in all sediment types.