Skip to main content

Dr. Peter M. Groffman

Microbial Ecologist | PhD, University of Georgia

soil ecology, water quality

Profile (pdf)

845 677-7600 x128

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 was a Convening Lead Author for the third National Climate Assessment Chapter on Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

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.

Inamdar, S, M Peipoch, M Sena, B Joshi, MM Rahman, JJ Kan, EK Peck, A Gold, TLE Trammell, and Peter M. Groffman. (MAR 16) 2024. “Riparian Groundwater Nitrogen (N) Isotopes Reveal Human Imprints Of Dams And Road Salt Salinization”. Geophysical Research Letters 51 (5). doi:10.1029/2023GL106888.
Castiblanco, ES, Peter M. Groffman, J Duncan, LE Band, E Doheny, GT Fisher, Emma J. Rosi, and AK Suchy. (JUN) 2023. “Long-Term Trends In Nitrate And Chloride In Streams In An Exurban Watershed”. Urban Ecosystems 26 (3): 831-844, . doi:10.1007/s11252-023-01340-0.
Ontman, R, Peter M. Groffman, CT Driscoll, and ZQ Cheng. (APR) 2023. “Surprising Relationships Between Soil Ph And Microbial Biomass And Activity In A Northern Hardwood Forest”. Biogeochemistry 163 (3): 265-277, . doi:10.1007/s10533-023-01031-0.
Suchy, AK, Peter M. Groffman, LE Band, JM Duncan, AJ Gold, JM Grove, DH Locke, L Templeton, and RY Zhang. (2023 MAY 25AD) 2023. “Spatial And Temporal Patterns Of Nitrogen Mobilization In Residential Lawns”. Ecosystems. doi:10.1007/s10021-023-00848-y.
Grijseels, NH, E Litvak, ML Avolio, AR Bratt, J Cavender-Bares, Peter M. Groffman, SJ Hall, et al. (JUN) 2023. “Evapotranspiration Of Residential Lawns Across The United States”. Water Resources Research 59 (6). doi:10.1029/2022WR032893.
Thompson, GL, N Bray, Peter M. Groffman, and J Kao-Kniffin. (JUN) 2023. “Soil Microbiomes In Lawns Reveal Land-Use Legacy Impacts On Urban Landscapes”. Oecologia 202 (2): 337-351, . doi:10.1007/s00442-023-05389-8.
Contosta, Alexandra R, John J Battles, John L Campbell, Charles T Driscoll, Sarah R Garlick, Richard T Holmes, Gene E. Likens, et al. 2023. “Early Warning Signals Of Changing Resilience In The Biogeochemistry And Biology Of A Northern Hardwood Forest”. Environmental Research Letters 18 (9). IOP Publishing: 094052. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/acf3fe.
Mejía, Gisselle A., Peter M. Groffman, Meghan L. Avolio, Anika R. Bratt, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Noortje H. Grijseels, Sharon J. Hall, et al. 2023. “Woody Plant–Soil Relationships In Interstitial Spaces Have Implications For Future Forests Within And Beyond Urban Areas”. Ecosystems. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi:10.1007/s10021-023-00881-x.
Zhang, Ruoyu, Lawrence E. Band, and Peter M. Groffman. 2023. “Balancing Upland Green Infrastructure And Stream Restoration To Recover Urban Stormwater And Nitrate Load Retention”. Journal Of Hydrology 626. Elsevier BV: 130364. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2023.130364.
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.
Inamdar, Shreeram P., Erin K. Peck, Marc Peipoch, Arthur J. Gold, Melissa Sherman, Johanna Hripto, Peter M. Groffman, et al. 2022. “Saturated, Suffocated, And Salty: Human Legacies Produce Hot Spots Of Nitrogen In Riparian Zones”. Journal Of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences. American Geophysical Union (AGU). doi:10.1029/2022jg007138.
Ryan, Christopher D., Peter M. Groffman, Morgan Grove, Sharon J. Hall, James B. Heffernan, Sarah E. Hobbie, Dexter H. Locke, et al. 2022. “Ecological Homogenization Of Soil Properties In The American Residential Macrosystem”. Ecosphere 13 (9). Wiley. doi:10.1002/ecs2.4208.
Campbell, John L, Charles T Driscoll, Julia A Jones, Emery R Boose, Hilary A Dugan, Peter M. Groffman, Rhett Jackson, et al. 2022. “Forest And Freshwater Ecosystem Responses To Climate Change And Variability At Us Lter Sites”. Bioscience 72 (9). Oxford University Press (OUP): 851-870. doi:10.1093/biosci/biab124.
Mason, Rachel E., Joseph M. Craine, Nina K. Lany, Mathieu Jonard, Scott V. Ollinger, Peter M. Groffman, Robinson W. Fulweiler, et al. 2022. “Explanations For Nitrogen Decline—Response”. Science 376 (6598). American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS): 1170-1170. doi:10.1126/science.abq8690.
Larson, Kelli L., Susannah B. Lerman, Kristen C. Nelson, Desiree L. Narango, Megan M. Wheeler, Peter M. Groffman, Sharon J. Hall, and Morgan Grove. 2022. “Examining The Potential To Expand Wildlife-Supporting Residential Yards And Gardens”. Landscape And Urban Planning 222. Elsevier BV: 104396. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2022.104396.
McPhearson, Timon, Elizabeth M. Cook, Marta Berbés-Blázquez, Chingwen Cheng, Nancy B. Grimm, Erik Andersson, Olga Barbosa, et al. 2022. “A Social-Ecological-Technological Systems Framework For Urban Ecosystem Services”. One Earth 5 (5). Elsevier BV: 505-518. doi:10.1016/j.oneear.2022.04.007.
Zhang, Ruoyu, David Newburn, Andrew Rosenberg, Laurence Lin, Peter M. Groffman, Jonathan Duncan, and Lawrence Band. 2022. “Spatial Asynchrony In Environmental And Economic Benefits Of Stream Restoration”. Environmental Research Letters 17 (5). IOP Publishing: 054004. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac61c6.
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.
Mason, Rachel E., Joseph M. Craine, Nina K. Lany, Mathieu Jonard, Scott V. Ollinger, Peter M. Groffman, Robinson W. Fulweiler, et al. 2022. “Evidence, Causes, And Consequences Of Declining Nitrogen Availability In Terrestrial Ecosystems”. Science 376 (6590). American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). doi:10.1126/science.abh3767.
Nevison, Cynthia, Christine Goodale, Peter Hess, William R. Wieder, Julius Vira, and Peter M. Groffman. 2022. “Nitrification And Denitrification In The Community Land Model Compared With Observations At Hubbard Brook Forest”. Ecological Applications 32 (4). Wiley. doi:10.1002/eap.2530.


Articles by Peter Groffman