The short-term variability of intertidal microphytobenthic biomass was characterized by analysing a 30-day time series encompassing two spring–neap tide cycles. Chlorophyll-a concentration was measured every day at the beginning and at the end of every diurnal exposure periods. Microalgal biomass exhibited predictible net increases during diurnal exposures due to a positive production-loss balance. In addition, our data series shows that after an environmental disturbance, even though biomass decreased strongly, it converged quickly back to its initial steady-state oscillation pattern. This study supports some fundamental properties of the dynamics of microphytobenthic biomass, as previously predicted in our mathematical model of primary production.