Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript. Intertidal marshes are alternately exposed and submerged due to periodic ebb and flood tides. The tidal cycle is important in controlling the biogeochemical processes of these ecosystems. Intertidal sediments are important hotspots of dissimilatory nitrate reduction and interacting nitrogen cycling microorganisms, but the effect of tides on dissimilatory nitrate reduction, including denitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium, remains unexplored in these habitats. Here, we use isotope-tracing and molecular approaches simultaneously to show that both nitrate-reduction activities and associated functional bacterial abundances are enhanced at the sediment-tidal water interface and at the tide-induced groundwater fluctuating layer. This pattern suggests that tidal pumping may sustain dissimilatory nitrate ...