Work on marine biofilms has primarily focused on host-associated habitats for their roles in larval recruitment and disease dynamics; little is known about the factors regulating the composition of reef environmental biofilms. To contrast the roles of succession, benthic communities and nutrients in structuring marine biofilms, we surveyed bacteria communities in biofilms through a six-week succession in aquaria containing macroalgae, coral, or reef sand factorially crossed with three levels of continuous nutrient enrichment. Our findings demonstrate how biofilm successional trajectories diverge from temporal dynamics of the bacterioplankton and how biofilms are structured by the surrounding benthic organisms and nutrient enrichment. We identify a suite of biofilm-associated bacteria linked with the orthogonal influences of corals, algae and nutrients and distinct from the overlying water. Our results provide a comprehensive characterization of marine biofilm successional dynamics and contextualize the impact of widespread changes in reef community composition and nutrient pollution on biofilm community structure.