Ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) microorganisms have been increasingly found in aquatic and terrestrial environments. These microorganisms make vital contributions to ammonia oxidation in such systems. However, their community succession characteristics in man-made wetland ecosystems have scarcely been reported. We assessed the AOA's spatiotemporal shifts in the sediments of a constructed wetland (CW) - the Shijiuyang constructed wetland (SJY-CW) - in China from the third year (2011) to the fifth year (2013) of the CW operation. The SJY-CW is composed of a pretreatment pond, a multiple plant-bed/ditch system, and a post-treatment pond. Results showed that AOA abundance in the pre- and post-treatment ponds remained invariant through 2011-2012 and decreased in 2013, while the abundance in the plant-bed/ditch system decreased gradually with wetland operation. The AOA abundance in 2013 was one order of magnitude lower than that through 2011-2012, and the AOA abundance in the plant-bed/ditch system was generally higher than that in the pre- and post-treatment ponds from 2011 to 2013. AOA diversity showed little temporal differentiation with a slightly decreasing trend for community richness index Chao1 and diversity index Shannon H' from 2011 to 2013. The AOA community was dominated by the Nitrososphaera cluster accompanied by an increasing Nitrosopumilus cluster and Nitrososphaera sister cluster within the wetland operation. Hierarchical clustering and redundancy analysis verified the horizontal shifts of AOA communities. The shifts occurred preferentially in the central plant-bed/ditch system. The operational duration of the wetland became a key factor influencing AOA abundance and community shift in SJY-CW sediments.