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Dr. Peter M. Groffman

Microbial Ecologist | PhD, 1984, University of Georgia

Expertise: soil ecology, water quality

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Peter Groffman studies how microbial processes impact gas exchange - particularly nitrogen - between the soil and air. His work encompasses rural and urban ecosystems, and is primarily centered at two of the National Science Foundation’s Long Term Ecological Research sites located in Hubbard Brook, New Hampshire and Baltimore, Maryland.

As a result of climate change, forests in the northeastern US are experiencing reduced winter snow cover. This change leaves the forest soil exposed to subfreezing temperatures for extended periods. Without a layer of insulating snow, important biological activity that usually continues throughout the winter stops. Freezing damages tender tree roots. Increased winter rain washes nitrogen and phosphorus - nutrients critical to tree growth - out of the soil, threatening forest productivity and water quality. Bare soils produce more nitrous oxide and consume less methane - both potent greenhouse gases. Understanding these processes will inform forest management as climate warms.

Urbanization is a global trend marked by increasing homogenization of the landscape; imagine the cookie cutter properties that characterize ‘suburbia’. Understanding landscape homogenization will help predict the impacts of urban land use change and its effects on carbon storage and nitrogen pollution, on multiple spatial scales.

Groffman is also a Professor at the City University of New York Advanced Science Research Center at the Graduate Center and the Brooklyn College Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Sorensen, P., Jennifer M. Bhatnagar, Lynn M. Christenson, Jorge Durán, Timothy J. Fahey, Melany C. Fisk, A.C. Finzi, Peter M. Groffman, Jennifer L. Morse, and Pamela H. Templer. 2019. “Roots Mediate The Effects Of Snowpack Decline On Soil Bacteria, Fungi, And Nitrogen Cycling In A Northern Hardwood Forest”. Frontiers In Microbiology 10. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.00926.
Ni, Xiangyin, Shu Liao, Fuzhong Wu, and Peter M. Groffman. 2019. “Short-Term Precipitation Pulses Stimulate Soil Co2 Emission But Do Not Alter Ch4 And N2O Fluxes In A Northern Hardwood Forest”. Soil Biology And Biochemistry 130: 8 - 11. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.11.021.
Cubino, J. P., Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Sarah E. Hobbie, Sharon J. Hall, Tara L.E. Trammell, Christopher Neill, Meghan L. Avolio, Lindsay E. Darling, and Peter M. Groffman. 2019. “Contribution Of Non-Native Plants To The Phylogenetic Homogenization Of Us Yard Floras”. Ecosphere 10 (3). doi:10.1002/ecs2.2638.
Cubino, J. P., Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Sarah E. Hobbie, Diane E. Pataki, Meghan L. Avolio, Lindsay E. Darling, Kelli L. Larson, et al. 2019. “Drivers Of Plant Species Richness And Phylogenetic Composition In Urban Yards At The Continental Scale”. Landscape Ecology 34 (1): 63 - 77. doi:10.1007/s10980-018-0744-7.
Gutiérrez, Jorge L., Clive G. Jones, P.D. Ribiero, Stuart E. G. Findlay, and Peter M. Groffman. 2018. “Crab Burrowing Limits Surface Litter Accumulation In A Temperate Salt Marsh: Implications For Ecosystem Functioning And Connectivity”. Ecosystems 21 (5): 1000 - 1012. doi:10.1007/s10021-017-0200-6.
Ni, Xiangyin, and Peter M. Groffman. 2018. “Declines In Methane Uptake In Forest Soils”. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences 115 (34): 8587 - 8590. doi:10.1073/pnas.1807377115.
Pearse, W. D., Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Sarah E. Hobbie, Meghan Avolio, Neil D. Bettez, Rinku Roy Chowdhury, Lindsay Darling, et al. 2018. “Homogenization Of Plant Diversity, Composition, And Structure In North American Urban Yards”. Ecosphere 9 (2): e02105. doi:10.1002/ecs2.2105.
Locke, Dexter H., Meghan Avolio, Tara L.E. Trammell, Rinku Roy Chowdhury, Morgan Grove, John Rogan, Deborah G. Martin, et al. 2018. “A Multi-City Comparison Of Front And Backyard Differences In Plant Species Diversity And Nitrogen Cycling In Residential Landscapes”. Landscape And Urban Planning 178: 102 - 111. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2018.05.030.
Groffman, Peter M., Charles T. Driscoll, Jorge Durán, John L. Campbell, Lynn M. Christenson, Timothy J. Fahey, Melany C. Fisk, et al. 2018. “Nitrogen Oligotrophication In Northern Hardwood Forests”. Biogeochemistry 141 (3): 523 - 539. doi:10.1007/s10533-018-0445-y.
Blaszczak, Joanna R., Meredith K. Steele, Brian D. Badgley, Jim B. Heffernan, Sarah E. Hobbie, Jennifer L. Morse, Erin N. Rivers, et al. 2018. “Sediment Chemistry Of Urban Stormwater Ponds And Controls On Denitrification”. Ecosphere 9 (6): e02318. doi:10.1002/ecs2.2318.
Locke, Dexter H., Rinku Roy Chowdhury, Morgan Grove, Deborah G. Martin, Eli Goldman, John Rogan, and Peter M. Groffman. 2018. “Social Norms, Yard Care, And The Difference Between Front And Back Yard Management: Examining The Landscape Mullets Concept On Urban Residential Lands”. Society & Natural Resources 31 (10): 1169 - 1188. doi:10.1080/08941920.2018.1481549.
Bird, Darcy L., Peter M. Groffman, C. J. Salice, and Joel Moore. 2018. “Steady-State Land Cover But Non-Steady-State Major Ion Chemistry In Urban Streams”. Environmental Science & Technology 52 (22): 13015 - 13026. doi:10.1021/acs.est.8b03587.
Reisinger, Alexander J., Ellen Woytowitz, Emily Majcher, Emma J. Rosi, Kenneth T Belt, Jonathan M. Duncan, Sujay S. Kaushal, and Peter M. Groffman. 2018. “Changes In Long-Term Water Quality Of Baltimore Streams Are Associated With Both Gray And Green Infrastructure”. Limnology And Oceanography 64 (S1): S60 - S76. doi:10.1002/lno.10947.
Webster, Alex J., Peter M. Groffman, and Mary L. Cadenasso. 2018. “Controls On Denitrification Potential In Nitrate-Rich Waterways And Riparian Zones Of An Irrigated Agricultural Setting”. Ecological Applications 28 (4): 1055 - 1067. doi:10.1002/eap.1709.
Groffman, Peter M., Meghan Avolio, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Neil D. Bettez, Morgan Grove, Sharon J. Hall, Sarah E. Hobbie, et al. 2017. “Ecological Homogenization Of Residential Macrosystems”. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1 (7): 191. doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0191.
Chamberlain, Samuel D., Peter M. Groffman, Elizabeth H. Boughton, Nuria Gomez-Casanovas, Evan H. DeLucia, Carl J. Bernacchi, and Jed Sparks. 2017. “The Impact Of Water Management Practices On Subtropical Pasture Methane Emissions And Ecosystem Service Payments”. Ecological Applications 2712141537401812117106631502123218188-189144112211121141410614 (4): 1199 - 1209. doi:10.1002/eap.1514.
Groffman, Peter M., Mary L. Cadenasso, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Daniel L. Childers, Nancy B Grimm, Morgan Grove, Sarah E. Hobbie, et al. 2017. “Moving Towards A New Urban Systems Science”. Ecosystems 20: 38-43. doi:10.1007/s10021-016-0053-4.
Wu, Qian, Qingliang Li, Jinbo Gao, Qiaoying Lin, Qiufang Xu, Peter M. Groffman, and Shen Yu. 2017. “Non-Algorithmically Integrating Land Use Type With Spatial Interpolation Of Surface Soil Nutrients In An Urbanizing Watershed”. Pedosphere 27 (1): 147 - 154. doi:10.1016/S1002-0160(15)60101-1.
Hickman, Jonathan E., Yaoxian Huang, Shiliang Wu, Willy Diru, Peter M. Groffman, Katherine L. Tully, and Cheryl A. Palm. 2017. “Nonlinear Response Of Nitric Oxide Fluxes To Fertilizer Inputs And The Impacts Of Agricultural Intensification On Tropospheric Ozone Pollution In Kenya”. Global Change Biology 23 (8): 3193 - 3204. doi:10.1111/gcb.13644.
Kulkarni, Madhura V., Joseph B. Yavitt, and Peter M. Groffman. 2017. “Rapid Conversion Of Added Nitrate To Nitrous Oxide And Dinitrogen In Northern Forest Soil”. Geomicrobiology Journal 34 (8): 670 - 676. doi:10.1080/01490451.2016.1238981.

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