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Dr. Peter M. Groffman

Microbial Ecologist | PhD, 1984, 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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
Cubino, Josep Padullés, Meghan L. Avolio, Megan M. Wheeler, Kelli L. Larson, Sarah E. Hobbie, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Sharon J. Hall, et al. 2020. “Linking Yard Plant Diversity To Homeowners’ Landscaping Priorities Across The U.s”. Landscape And Urban Planning 196. Elsevier BV: 103730. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2019.103730.
Weitzman, Julie N., Peter M. Groffman, John Campbell, Charles T. Driscoll, Robert Fahey, Timothy J. Fahey, Paul G. Schaberg, and Lindsey E. Rustad. 2020. “Ecosystem Nitrogen Response To A Simulated Ice Storm In A Northern Hardwood Forest”. Ecosystems. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi:10.1007/s10021-019-00463-w.
Campbell, John L., Lindsey E. Rustad, Charles T. Driscoll, Ian Halm, Timothy J. Fahey, Habibollah Fakhraei, Peter M. Groffman, Gary J. Hawley, Wendy Leuenberger, and Paul G. Schaberg. 2020. “Simulating Impacts Of Ice Storms On Forest Ecosystems”. Journal Of Visualized Experiments. MyJove Corporation. doi:10.3791/61492.
Cubino, J. P., J. Cavender-Bares, Peter M. Groffman, M. L. Avolio, A. R. Bratt, S. J. Hall, K. L. Larson, et al. 2020. “Taxonomic, Phylogenetic, And Functional Composition And Homogenization Of Residential Yard Vegetation With Contrasting Management”. Landscape And Urban Planning 202.
Dukes, E. S. M., J. N. Galloway, L. E. Band, L. R. Cattaneo, Peter M. Groffman, A. M. Leach, and E. A. Castner. 2020. “A Community Nitrogen Footprint Analysis Of Baltimore City, Maryland”. Environmental Research Letters 15 (7).
Engebretson, J. M., K. C. Nelson, L. A. Ogden, K. L. Larson, J. M. Grove, S. J. Hall, D. H. Locke, et al. 2020. “How The Nonhuman World Influences Homeowner Yard Management In The American Residential Macrosystem”. Human Ecology 48 (3): 347-356+.
Garcia, M. O., P. H. Templer, P. O. Sorensen, R. Sanders-DeMott, Peter M. Groffman, and J. M. Bhatnagar. 2020. “Soil Microbes Trade-Off Biogeochemical Cycling For Stress Tolerance Traits In Response To Year-Round Climate Change”. Frontiers In Microbiology 11.
Trammell, Tara L.E., Diane E. Pataki, Richard V. Pouyat, Peter M. Groffman, Carl Rosier, Neil D. Bettez, Jeannine Cavender‐Bares, et al. 2020. “Urban Soil Carbon And Nitrogen Converge At A Continental Scale”. Ecological Monographs 90 (2). Wiley. doi:10.1002/ecm.1401.
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. 2020. “Ideas And Perspectives: Biogeochemistry – Its Future Role Ininterdisciplinary Frontiers”. Copernicus GmbH. doi:10.5194/bg-2020-395.
Larson, K. L., R. Andrade, K. C. Nelson, M. M. Wheeler, J. M. Engebreston, S. J. Hall, M. L. Avolio, et al. 2020. “Municipal Regulation Of Residential Landscapes Across Us Cities: Patterns And Implications For Landscape Sustainability”. Journal Of Environmental Management 275.
Pickett, Steward T. A., M. L. Cadenasso, M. E. Baker, L. E. Band, C. G. Boone, G. L. Buckley, Peter M. Groffman, et al. 2020. “Theoretical Perspectives Of The Baltimore Ecosystem Study: Conceptual Evolution In A Social-Ecological Research Project”. Bioscience 70 (4): 297-314+.
Rustad, L. E., J. L. Campbell, C. T. Driscoll, T. J. Fahey, Peter M. Groffman, P. G. Schaberg, G. J. Hawley, et al. 2020. “Experimental Approach And Initial Forest Response To A Simulated Ice Storm Experiment In A Northern Hardwood Forest”. Plos One 15 (9).
Wilson, G., M. Green, J. Brown, J. Campbell, Peter M. Groffman, Jorge Durán, and Jennifer L. Morse. 2020. “Snowpack Affects Soil Microclimate Throughout The Year”. Climatic Change.
Sanders-DeMott, Rebecca, John L. Campbell, Peter M. Groffman, Lindsey E. Rustad, and Pamela H. Templer. 2019. “Soil Warming And Winter Snowpacks: Implications For Northern Forest Ecosystem Functioning”. In Ecosystem Consequences Of Soil Warming, 245-278. Elsevier. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-813493-1.00011-9.
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.
Locke, Dexter H., Colin Polsky, Morgan Grove, Peter M. Groffman, Kristen C. Nelson, Kelli L. Larson, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, et al. 2019. “Residential Household Yard Care Practices Along Urban-Exurban Gradients In Six Climatically-Diverse U.s. Metropolitan Areas”. Plos One 14 (11). Public Library of Science (PLoS): e0222630. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0222630.

Current Projects

Articles by Peter Groffman