To understand how and to what extent single or multiple perturbations can alter the relationships between the abundances of different nitrifier groups and nitrification, soil microcosms were exposed to six disturbance treatments: a heat shock, cold shock, or control conditions applied to undisturbed soils or to soils that had previously been subjected to a first heat shock. We monitored the recovery of the abundances of four main nitrifier groups (ammonia-oxidizing archaea and bacteria, AOA and AOB, respectively, andNitrobacterandNitrospiranitrite oxidizers) as well as nitrification activity for 25 days. AOA were sensitive to cold shocks, whereas AOB were not; the latter were sensitive to heat shock. Despite the variations, both groups were resilient to the first disturbance. In contrast,Nitrobacterwas affected by both disturbances, whereasNitrospirawas resistant to both shocks. Prior exposure to a heat shock affected each group's responses as well as the relationships between them. For example, AOB were more vulnerable to heat shock in pre-exposed soils, whereas under the same circumstances, AOA were resilient. Nitrification activity was resistant to the first disturbances, but a legacy effect was observed, and nitrification was highest in Heat-Heat and lowest in Heat-Cold treatments. Overall, our study shows that within soil nitrifiers, temporal patterns and legacy effects interact to result in complex disturbance responses.