Distribution and bioaccumulation of zinc, lead, chromium, selenium and manganese in sediment, water, and two important aquatic macrophytes (Phragmites australis and Typha angustifolia) collected from the Kizilirmak River system were investigated. The concentration ranges were Cr (1.02 mu g 100 g(-1) for plant/27.95 mu g 100 L-1 for water), Pb (9.7 mu g 100 g(-1) a for plant/48.6 mu g 100 g(-1) for plant) and Se (20 mu g 100 g(-1) for plant/200 mu g 100 g(-1) for plant). All sampling sites in the study area basin were generally more or less polluted, when compared with the control sites. Metal concentrations investigated in the roots of the plants were generally higher than those in the sediment. The tissues of Typha angustifolia accumulated lead more than that of Phragmites australis. The heavy metal accumulation in different parts of the plants followed the sequence: root>shoot>leaf.