Release of carbohydrates by phytoplankton enhances microbial diversity, promoting associations between algae and heterotrophic organisms. Thus, this work aimed to characterise the dissolved carbohydrates at a Brazilian subtropical coastal lagoon (Merin lagoon), in addition to determining their relationships with environmental parameters and phyto/bacterioplankton communities over one year. We analysed the relationships among physical, chemical and biological parameters by a principal component analysis (PCA) after normalisation of data as z scores. Chlorophyceae showed the highest richness, although Bacillariophyceae and Cyanophyceae showed the highest densities. These classes are essentially represented by centric diatoms (Aulacoseira cf. muzzanensis) and filamentous cyanobacteria (Planktolyngbya limnetica and Planktolyngbya cf. contorta). Merin lagoon showed a strong seasonal behaviour for most of parameters and phytoplanktonic density was mainly correlated with temperature, specific conductance, phosphate and total bright sunshine duration. Only combined dissolved carbohydrates (CDCHOs) were found and their main components were glucose (31.6%), mannose/xylose (20.6%), ribose (13.9%), arabinose (8.9%) and galacturonic acid (8.1%). The CDCHO amounts were higher in November, March-April and September and the December/January and July/August periods showed lower ones. Ribose was first detected only in the warm months and it gradually decreased with bacterial density. The carbohydrate concentration was coupled to phytoplanktonic density, except in December and January, when the bacterial density was increased. These results supported the significance of dissolved carbohydrates in associations with algae and bacteria in the freshwater planktonic environment. Our data reinforced the influence of phytoplankton community on the natural dissolved carbohydrate pool, besides the significance of such carbon source on the bacterial community dynamic.