In previous studies, our group developed a method based on Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy and Image Analysis (CLSM-IA) to analyze the diversity and biomass of cyanobacteria in microbial mats. However, this method cannot be applied to heterotrophic microorganisms, as these do not have autofluorescence. In this article, we present a method that combines CLSM-IA and Hoechst 33342 and SYTOX Green fluorochromes (FLU-CLSM-IA) to determine the viability and biomass of Micrococcus luteus DE2008, isolated from a saline microbial mat (Ebro Delta, Tarragona, Spain). The method has been applied to assess the effect of salinity on this microorganism. A reduction in viability and biomass (live cells) was observed as the salt concentration increases. The largest effect was at 100‰ NaCl with a cell death of 27.25% and a decrease in total and individual biomass of 39.75 and 0.009 mgC/cm 3, respectively, both with respect to optimal growth (10 ‰ NaCl). On the other hand, another important contribution of this article was that combining the FLU-CLSM-IA results with those achieved by plate counts enabled us to determine, for first time, the viability and the total biomass of the "dormant cells" (66.75% of viability and 40.59 mgC/cm 3 of total biomass at 100‰ NaCl). FLU-CLSM-IA is an efficient, fast, and reliable method for making a total count of cells at pixel level, including the dormant cells, to evaluate the viability and the biomass of a hetetrophic microorganism, M. luteus DE2008. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.