In this study, a large-scale field survey was conducted to describe the biogeography of sulfate-reducing prokaryotes (SRPs) in river floodplains. Fingerprints obtained with three methods, i.e. 16S rRNA gene-based oligonucleotide microarray, dsrB-based denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and polar lipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) analyses, were used as a proxy to describe the SRPs community diversity. Each set of profiles was subjected to a combined multivariate/correlation analysis in order to compare SRP community profiles and to highlight the environmental variables influencing the SRPs distribution along environmental gradients. Floodplain soils harbored distinct SRP communities displaying biogeographic patterns. Nearly all profiles from the tidal sites consistently separated from the nontidal sites, independently from the screening method and the multivariate statistics used. The distribution of the microarray/DGGE/PLFA-based fingerprints in the principal component plots could be correlated to eight soil variables, i.e. soil organic matter, total nitrogen, total phosphorous and total potassium, and extractable ammonium, nitrate, phosphate and sulfate, as well as seven pore water variables, i.e. phosphate, sulfate, sulfide, chloride, sodium, potassium and magnesium ions. Indication of a salinity- and plant nutrient-dependent distribution of SRPs related to Desulfosarcina, Desulfomonile and Desulfobacter was suggested by microarray, DGGE and PLFA analyses.