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Dr. Peter M. Groffman

Microbial Ecologist | PhD, University of Georgia

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.

Mejia, GA, Peter M. Groffman, AE Downey, Elizabeth M. Cook, S Sritrairat, R Karty, MI Palmer, and Timon McPhearson. 2022. “Nitrogen Cycling And Urban Afforestation Success In New York City”. Ecological Applications. doi:10.1002/eap.2535.
Grabowski, Zbigniew J., Timon McPhearson, Marissa Matsler, Peter M. Groffman, and Steward T. A. Pickett. 2022. “What Is Green Infrastructure? A Study Of Definitions In Us City Planning”. Frontiers In Ecology And The Environment. Wiley. doi:10.1002/fee.2445.
Zinnert, Julie C., Jesse B. Nippert, Jennifer A. Rudgers, Steven C. Pennings, Grizelle González, Merryl Alber, Sara G. Baer, et al. 2021. “State Changes: Insights From The U.s. Long Term Ecological Research Network”. Ecosphere 12 (5). Wiley. doi:10.1002/ecs2.3433.
Downey, Alisen E., Peter M. Groffman, Gisselle A. Mejía, Elizabeth M. Cook, Sanpisa Sritrairat, Richard Karty, Matthew I. Palmer, and Timon McPhearson. 2021. “Soil Carbon Sequestration In Urban Afforestation Sites In New York City”. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 65. Elsevier BV: 127342. doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2021.127342.
Fahey, Timothy, Patrick Bohlen, Ted R. Feldpausch, Melany Fisk, Marc Goebel, Peter M. Groffman, John Maerz, and Joseph Yavitt. 2021. “Tracing Carbon Flow Through A Sugar Maple Forest And Its Soil Components: Role Of Invasive Earthworms”. Plant And Soil 464 (1-2). Springer Science and Business Media LLC: 517-537. doi:10.1007/s11104-021-04971-4.
Zarnetske, Phoebe L., Jessica Gurevitch, Janet Franklin, Peter M. Groffman, Cheryl S. Harrison, Jessica J. Hellmann, Forrest M. Hoffman, et al. 2021. “Potential Ecological Impacts Of Climate Intervention By Reflecting Sunlight To Cool Earth”. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences 118 (15). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: e1921854118. doi:10.1073/pnas.1921854118.
Ni, XY, S Liao, FZ Wu, and Peter M. Groffman. 2021. “Microbial Biomass In Forest Soils Under Altered Moisture Conditions: A Review”. Soil Science Society Of America Journal. doi:10.1002/saj2.20344.
Inamdar, Shreeram, Marc Peipoch, Arthur Gold, Evan Lewis, Johanna Hripto, Melissa Sherman, Kelly Addy, et al. 2021. “Ghosts Of Landuse Past: Legacy Effects Of Milldams For Riparian Nitrogen (N) Processing And Water Quality Functions”. Environmental Research Letters. IOP Publishing. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/abd9f5.
Smith, Jason, Richard A. Hallett, Maha Deeb, and Peter M. Groffman. 2021. “Fine‐Scale Soil Heterogeneity At An Urban Site: Implications For Forest Restoration”. Restoration Ecology. Wiley. doi:10.1111/rec.13409.
Campbell, John L., Lindsey E. Rustad, Scott W. Bailey, Emily S. Bernhardt, Charles T. Driscoll, Mark B. Green, Peter M. Groffman, et al. 2021. “Watershed Studies At The Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest: Building On A Long Legacy Of Research With New Approaches And Sources Of Data”. Hydrological Processes 35 (1). Wiley. doi:10.1002/hyp.14016.
Lewis, Evan, Shreeram Inamdar, Arthur J. Gold, Kelly Addy, Tara L. E. Trammell, Dorothy Merritts, Marc Peipoch, et al. 2021. “Draining The Landscape: How Do Nitrogen Concentrations In Riparian Groundwater And Stream Water Change Following Milldam Removal?”. Journal Of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. American Geophysical Union (AGU). doi:10.1029/2021jg006444.
Suchy, Amanda K., Peter M. Groffman, Lawrence E. Band, Jonathan M. Duncan, Arthur J. Gold, Morgan Grove, Dexter H. Locke, and Laura Templeton. 2021. “A Landscape Approach To Nitrogen Cycling In Urban Lawns Reveals The Interaction Between Topography And Human Behaviors”. Biogeochemistry 152 (1). Springer Science and Business Media LLC: 73-92. doi:10.1007/s10533-020-00738-8.
Stephan, Emily, Peter M. Groffman, Philippe Vidon, John C. Stella, and Theodore Endreny. 2021. “Interacting Drivers And Their Tradeoffs For Predicting Denitrification Potential Across A Strong Urban To Rural Gradient Within Heterogeneous Landscapes”. Journal Of Environmental Management 294. Elsevier BV: 113021. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.113021.
Taylor, Lyla L., Charles T. Driscoll, Peter M. Groffman, Greg H. Rau, Joel D. Blum, and David J. Beerling. 2021. “Increased Carbon Capture By A Silicate-Treated Forested Watershed Affected By Acid Deposition”. Biogeosciences 18 (1). Copernicus GmbH: 169-188. doi:10.5194/bg-18-169-2021.
Weitzman, Julie N., Peter M. Groffman, Paul R. Adler, Curtis J. Dell, Frank E. Johnson, Robert N. Lerch, and Timothy C. Strickland. 2021. “Drivers Of Hot Spots And Hot Moments Of Denitrification In Agricultural Systems”. Journal Of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 126 (7). American Geophysical Union (AGU). doi:10.1029/2020jg006234.
Bianchi, Thomas S., Madhur Anand, Chris T. Bauch, Donald E. Canfield, Luc De Meester, Katja Fennel, Peter M. Groffman, Michael L. Pace, Mak Saito, and Myrna J. Simpson. 2021. “Ideas And Perspectives: Biogeochemistry – Some Key Foci For The Future”. Biogeosciences 18 (10). Copernicus GmbH: 3005-3013. doi:10.5194/bg-18-3005-2021.
Wijsman, Katinka, D. S. Novem Auyeung, Pippa Brashear, Brett F. Branco, Kathryn Graziano, Peter M. Groffman, Helen Cheng, and Dylan Corbett. 2021. “Operationalizing Resilience: Co-Creating A Framework To Monitor Hard, Natural, And Nature-Based Shoreline Features In New York State.”. Ecology And Society 26 (3). Resilience Alliance, Inc.. doi:10.5751/es-12182-260310.
Bahlai, Christie A., Clarisse Hart, Maria T. Kavanaugh, Jeffrey D. White, Roger W. Ruess, Todd J. Brinkman, Hugh W. Ducklow, et al. 2021. “Cascading Effects: Insights From The U.s. Long Term Ecological Research Network”. Ecosphere 12 (5). Wiley. doi:10.1002/ecs2.3430.
Lerman, Susannah B., Desirée L. Narango, Meghan L. Avolio, Anika R. Bratt, Jesse M. Engebretson, Peter M. Groffman, Sharon J. Hall, et al. 2021. “Residential Yard Management And Landscape Cover Affect Urban Bird Community Diversity Across The Continental Usa”. Ecological Applications. Wiley. doi:10.1002/eap.2455.
Iwaniec, David, Michael N. Gooseff, Katharine Suding, David Samuel Johnson, Daniel C. Reed, Debra P. C. Peters, Byron Adams, et al. 2021. “Connectivity: Insights From The U.s. Long Term Ecological Research Network”. Ecosphere 12 (5). Wiley. doi:10.1002/ecs2.3432.

Current Projects

Articles by Peter Groffman