In flooded and non-flooded impounded forests of Black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), the community structure of the ammonia-oxidizing betaproteobacteria (β-AOB) differed among distinct mangrove vegetation cover types and hydrological regimes. This had been explained by a differential response of lineages of β-AOB to the prevailing soil conditions that included increased levels of moisture and ammonium. To test this hypothesis, slurries of soils collected from a flooded and a non-flooded impoundment were subjected to enhanced levels of ammonium in the absence and presence of additional shaking. After a period of 6 days, the community composition of the β-AOB based on the 16S rRNA gene was determined and compared with the original community structures. Regardless of the incubation conditions and the origin of the samples, sequences belonging to the Nitrosomonas aestuarii lineage became increasingly dominant, whereas the number of sequences of the lineages of Nitrosospira (i.e. Cluster 1) and Nitrosomonas sp. Nm143 declined. Changes in community structure were related to changes in community sizes determined by quantitative PCR based on the amoA gene. The amoA gene copy numbers of β-AOB were compared to those of the ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA). Gene copy numbers of the bacteria increased irrespective of incubation conditions, but the numbers of archaea declined in the continuously shaken cultures. This observation is discussed in relation to the distribution of the β-AOB lineages in the impounded Black mangrove forests.