This study aimed to investigate Cu oxide nanoparticles (CuO NP) effect on microbial communities associated with salt marsh plants (Halimione portulacoides and Pragmites australis) rhizosphere and its implications for phytoremediation processes. Experiments were conducted, under controlled conditions, over one week. Rhizosediment soaked in the respective elutriate (a simplified natural medium) with or without plants, was doped with CuO NP or with Cu in ionic form. Microbial community in rhizosediments was characterized in terms of abundance (by DAPI) and structure (by ARISA). Metal uptake by plants was evaluated by measuring Cu in plant tissues (by atomic absorption spectroscopy). Results revealed significant metal uptake but only in plant roots, which was significantly lower (H. portulacoides) or not significant (P. australis) when the metal was in NP form. Microbial community structure was significantly changed by the treatment (absence/presence of Cu, ionic Cu or CuO NP) as showed by multivariate analysis of ARISA profiles and confirmed by analysis of similarities (Global test - one way ANOSIM). Moreover, in P. australis rhizosediments microbial abundance, bacterial richness and diversity indexes were significantly affected (increased or decreased) due to metal presence whereas in H. portulacoides rhizosediment microbial abundance showed a significant decrease, particularly when the metal was in NP form. Accordingly, Cu presence affected the response of the rhizosphere microbial community and in some cases that response was significantly different when Cu was in NP form. The response of the microbial communities to Cu NP might also contribute to the lower metal accumulation by plants when the metal was in this form. So, Cu NP may cause disturbances in ecosystems functions, ultimately affecting phytoremediation processes. These facts should be considered regarding the use of appropriate salt marshes plants to remediate moderately impacted areas such as estuaries, where NPs can be found.