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Sarah E. Hobbie

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Sarah E. Hobbie



Ph.D., University of California - Berkeley, 1995

Graduate Faculty Memberships

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; Natural Resources Science & Mgmt; Conservation Biology


I am broadly interested in all areas of ecosystem ecology. My research focuses on three main areas: (1) the influence of changes in atmospheric composition and climate on ecosystem processes; (2) the effects of urbanization and suburbanization on biogeochemical cycles; and (3) the influence of plant species on biogeochemical processes. In the area of global change, I aim to understand how human effects on global nutrient cycles affect carbon cycling; how variation in biodiversity, atmospheric carbon dioxide, nitrogen inputs, warming, and precipitation influence grassland ecosystems; and how warming alters community and ecosystem processes at the southern boreal-temperate forest ecotone. In the area of urban ecology, I am studying the effects of urban and suburban development on biogeochemical cycling. In particular we are focusing on quantifying sources of nutrient pollutants to subwatersheds of the Mississippi River and how nutrients move from land to stormwater. We are also studying the role of human choices in both creating and solving urban environmental problems. In all of this work, the influence of plants on soils is an underyling theme.


Selected Publications

Reich, P. B., K. M. Sendall, K. Rice, R. L. Rich, A. Stefanski, S. E. Hobbie, R. A. Montgomery. 2015. Geographic range predicts photosynthetic and growth response to warming in co-occurring tree species. Nature Climate Change in press.


Groffman, P. M., J. Cavender-Bares, N. D. Bettez, J. M. Grove, S. J. Hall, J. B. Heffernan, S. E. Hobbie, K. L. Larson, J. L. Morse, C. Neill, K. Nelson, J. O'Neil-Dunne, L. Ogden, D. E. Pataki, C. Polsky, R. R. Chowdhury, and M. K. Steele. 2014. Ecological homogenization of urban USA. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12:74-81.

Hobbie, S. E., L. A. Baker, C. Buyarski, D. Nidzgorski, and J. C. Finlay. 2014. Decomposition of tree leaf litter on pavement: implications for urban water quality. Urban Ecosystems 17:365-385

Janke, B., J. C. Finlay, S. E. Hobbie, L. A. Baker, R. W. Sterner, D. Nidzgorski, B. N. Wilson. 2014. Contrasting influences of stormflow and baseflow pathways on nitrogen and phosphorus export from an urban watershed. Biogeochemistry 121:209-228

Reich, P. B., S. E. Hobbie, and T. D. Lee. 2014. Plant growth enhancement by elevated CO2 eliminated by joint water and nitrogen limitation. Nature Geoscience.

Reich, P. B., and S. E. Hobbie. 2013. Decade-long soil nitrogen constraint on the CO2 fertilization of plant biomass. Nature Climate Change 3:278-282

Hobbie, S. E., W. C. Eddy, C. R. Buyarski, E. C. Adair, M. L. Ogdahl, and P. Weisenhorn. 2012. Response of decomposing litter and its microbial community to multiple forms of nitrogen enrichment. Ecological Monographs 82:389-405

Fissore, C., S. E. Hobbie, J. Y. King, J. P. McFadden, K. C. Nelson, L. A. Baker. 2012. The residential landscape: fluxes of elements and the role of household decisions. Urban Ecosystems 15:1-18.

Knapp, S., L. Dinsmore, C. Fissore, S. Hobbie, I. Jakobsdottir, J. Kattge, J. King, S. Klotz, D. C. Laughlin, J.P. McFadden, and J. Cavender-Bares. 2012. Phylogenetic and functional characteristics of household yard floras and their changes along an urbanization gradient. Ecology 93:S83-S98.

Knapp, A. K., M. D. Smith, S. E. Hobbie, S. L. Collins, T. J. Fahey, G. J. A. Hansen, D. A. Landis, K. J. La Pierre, J. M. Melillo, T. R. Seastedt, G. R. Shaver, J. R. Webster. 2012. Past, present and future roles of long-term experiments in ecology. BioScience 62:377-389.

Reich, P. B., D. Tilman, F. Isbell, K. Mueller, S. E. Hobbie, D. F. B. Flynn, and N. Eisenhauer. 2012. Impacts of biodiversity loss escalate through time as redundancy fades. Science 336:589-592.

Reich, P. B., and S. E. Hobbie. 2012. Decade-long soil nitrogen constraint on the CO2 fertilization of plant biomass. Nature Climate Change doi:10.1038/nclimate1694.

Whitthinghill, K. and S. E. Hobbie. In press. Effects of pH and calcium on soil organic matter dynamics in Alaskan tundra. Biogeochemistry.

Whittinghill, K. and S. E. Hobbie. 2011. Effects of landscape age on soil organic matter processing in Northern Alaska. Soil Science Society of America Journal 75:907-917.

Whitthinghill, K. and S. E. Hobbie. 2011. Effects of pH and calcium on soil organic matter dynamics in Alaskan tundra. Biogeochemistry 10.1007/s10533-011-9688-6.

Cornwell, W. K., J. H. C. Cornelissen, K. Amatangelo, E. Dorrepaal, V. T. Eviner, O. Godoy, S. E. Hobbie, B. Hoorens, H. Kurokawa, N. Perez-Harquindeguy, H. M. Quested, L. S. Santiago, D. A. Wardle, I J. Wright, R. Aerts, S. D. Allison, P. van Bodegom, V. Brovkin, A. Chatain, T. Callaghan, S. Diaz, E. Garnier, D. Gurvich, E. Kazakou, J. Klein, J. Read, P. Reich, V. Soudzilovskaia, M. Vaieretti, M. Westoby. 2008. Plant traits are the predominant control on litter decomposition rates within biomes worldwide. Ecology Letters 11:1065-1071

Hobbie, S. E. 2008. Nitrogen effects on litter decomposition: a five-year experiment in eight temperate grassland and forest sites. Ecology 89:2633-2644

Baker, L. A., P. M. Hartzheim, S. E. Hobbie, J. Y. King, K. C. Nelson. 2007. Effect of consumption choices on fluxes of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus through households. Urban Ecosystems 10:97-117

Hobbie, S. E., M. Ogdahl, J. Chorover, O. A. Chadwick, J. Oleksyn, R. Zytkowiak, and P. B. Reich. 2007. Tree species effects on soil organic matter dynamics: the role of soil cation composition. Ecosystems 10:999-1018

Hobbie, S. E., P. B. Reich, J. Oleksyn, M. Ogdahl, R. Zytkowiak, C. Hale, and P. Karolewski. 2006. Tree species effects on decomposition and forest floor dynamics in a common garden. Ecology 87:2288-2297


Additional Links

Research Web Site

IGERT Training Grant

Phone Number
612-625-6269 Fax: 612-624-6777
Email Address

502 Ecology
1987 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108