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Grizelle Gonzalez

Grizelle Gonzalez
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Jardin Botanico Sur, 1201 Calle Ceiba
1201 Ceiba St.
San Juan, PR 00926
United States
Current Research

Soil ecology, biology and biogeochemistry

Past Research

Earthworm ecology, soil biology and biogeochemistry

Research Interest

Soils, decay, nutrient cycling, soil organisms

  • Department of Environmental, Population and Organismic (EPO) Biology, University of Colorado-Boulder, Ph.D., Soil ecology and biology. Dissertation: Soil fauna, microbes and plant litter decomposition in tropical and subalpine forests. , 1999
  • Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, M.Sc., Soil ecology. Thesis: Earthworm abundance and distribution pattern in two plant communities within a subtropical wet forest of Puerto Rico. , 1996
  • Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, B.S., Biology, 1993
Professional Experience
  • Project Leader, R&D unit,  US Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry,  2012 - Current
  • Associated Faculty,  Univesity of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras Campus, Dept. of Environmental Sciences,  2010 - Current
  • Adjunct Faculty,  University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras Campus, Department of Biology,  2004 - Current
  • Director, Sabana Field Research Station,  US Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry,  2003 - Current
  • Research Ecologist,  USFS International Institute of Tropical Forestry,  2000 - Current
  • Research Associate,  University of Alaska, Fairbanks,  1999 - 2000
Professional Organizations
  • Member,  National Inventory Monitoring and Assessment Steering Committee of USFS NFS,  2014 - Current
    Washington DC
  • Member,  Special Working Group, Conservation Areas In PR,  2014 - Current
    Special Working Group for Commonwealth Government of Puerto Rico for Strategic Augmentation of Conservation Areas in Puerto Rico
  • Co-Principal Investigator,  Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory,  2013 - Current
    US NSF Award to Univ. of New Hampshire, EAR 1331841 ($5M) Luquillo CZO: The role of hot spots and hot moments in tropical landscape evolution and functioning of the critical zone (Sept 2013 to Aug 2018)
  • Science Advisor And Member,  El Yunque National Forest Management Plan, Interdisciplinary Team,  2012 - Current
    Interdisciplinary Team of El Yunque National Forest Management Plan
  • Co-Principal Investigator,  Luquillo Long Term Ecological Research,  2010 - Current
    US NSF Award to Univ. of Puerto Rico, DEB 1239764 ($1.96M), Understanding Change in the Ecosystems of Northeastern Puerto Rico (Jan 2014 to Dec 2015)
  • Usfs National R&D Project Leader Representative,  Albuquerque Service Center Operations Customer Service Board,  2012 - 2016
  • Editorial Board Member,  International Scholarly Research Network-Soil Science,  2011 - 2011
Awards & Recognition
  • Best 2014 Collective Exhibition in Puerto Rico by the International Association of Art Critics , 2015
    Poetic Science, a collaborative arts and science exhibit celebrating the 50th Anniv of the Wilderness Act and El Toro Wilderness in EYNF, was awarded AICA, based in Paris and affiliated to UNESCO.
  • US Forest Service Wilderness Legacy Award 2014, 2014
    For dedication and contributions to Wilderness Stewardship, El Toro Wilderness, EYNF, Puerto Rico
  • Supervisor of the Year, 2009
    In appreciation to outstanding commitment to USFS IITF Volunteer Program
Featured Publications
Other Publications
Research Highlights

Physical, Chemical, and Biological Properties of Soil Under Decaying Wood in a Tropical Wet Forest in Puerto Rico

Year: 2016
Decaying wood is related to nutrient cycling through its role as either a sink or source of nutrients; however, at micro scales, what is the effect of decaying logs on the physical, chemical, and biotic characteristics of the soil underneath?

Geographic, Environmental, and Biotic Sources of Variation in the Nutrient Relations of Tropical Montane Forests

Year: 2016
Incorporating other geographic, environmental and biotic variables in tropical montane forests biogeochemistry, might give scientists a more accurate picture of plant-soil feedbacks, forest productivity, and soil carbon storage.

Ecology of soil arthropod fauna in tropical forests: A review of studies from Puerto Rico

Year: 2018
A significant number of ecological investigations have focused on the characterization of the edaphic fauna, and how they influence ecosystem processes in forested sites

Responses of Two Litter-Based Invertebrate Communities to Changes in Canopy Cover in a Forest Subject to Hurricanes

Year: 2018
Changes in canopy cover due to hurricane impact play an important role in determining litter invertebrate community

The Future of Scientific Knowledge and Management Approaches to Tropical Forests in the Anthropocene Epoch

Year: 2019
A special issue of Forests augments a quarter century of scientific knowledge and capitalizes on a unique set of synergies chartered by a strategy based on shared stewardship, innovative transdisciplinary collaborations, and breakthroughs in science and technology.

Assessing Litterfall Trap Bias

Year: 2012
Are traps preferentially representing certain kinds of leaf litter

A Global Meta-Analysis of Earthworm Regulation of Plant Litter Decay and Soil Organic Carbon

Year: 2020
The effect of earthworms on litter and soil organic carbon (SOC) decay depends strongly on earthworm functional groups and diversity. High diversity of earthworm functional groups accelerates litter mass loss and SOC decay.

Understanding Tropical Forest Abiotic Response to Hurricanes using Experimental Manipulations, Field Observations, and Satellite Data

Year: 2020
The cycle of hurricane disturbance to forests was studied, from initial forest response to recovery. To better understand the driving forces of the ecosystem changes, abiotic inputs to the forest environment under the canopy such as light, moisture, and temperature were measured.

New Species of Collembola Discovered in The Luquillo Experimental Forest in Puerto Rico

Year: 2020
New records and described species of Collembola in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF) have been identified with the objective to improve the knowledge of soil and litter fauna through the altitudinal gradient in northeastern Puerto Rico.

The Role of Millipedes in Tropical Ecosystems

Year: 2012
The direct and indirect effects on litter of varying lignin content

A Canopy Trimming Experiment in Puerto Rico: the response of litter invertebrate communities to canopy loss and debris deposition in a tropical forest subject to hurricanes

Year: 2010
Insects and other invertebrates in leaf litter are important components in decomposition, nutrient cycling, and food webs. As part of larger study to look at the effects of hurricane disturbance on tropical forests, Forest Service scientists and Long Term Ecological Research collaborators installed ...

Scientists Characterize Woody Debris to Assess Fuel Loads in Northeastern Puerto Rico

Year: 2013
Forest Service scientists characterized the amounts of woody debris (coarse woody debris, fine woody debris, duff, and litter) for eight different forest types along the elevation gradient in Northeastern Puerto Rico. Data generated by this survey contributes to development and improvement of existi...

Ecological Gradient Analyses in Tropical Ecosystems

Year: 2013
Forest Service scientists recently published a book that contains a comprehensive analysis of ecological gradients in the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico.� These original and synthetic research findings should be of considerable interest to all concerned with understanding the importance of enviro...

Post-hurricane Canopy Openings Influence Ecosystem Processes in a Tropical Rainforest

Year: 2015
Forest Service researchers collaborated with external scientists to examine the effects of hurricane disturbance on tropical forest ecosystems. They found that one of the most important drivers of forest change is the opening of canopies due to wind damage, with added debris playing a relatively sma...

A 42 year inference of cloud base height trends in the Luquillo Mountains of northeastern Puerto Rico

Year: 2018
Cloud base altitude has been found to be increasing in the late rainfall season at the Luquillo Mountains

Integrating Research, Education, and Traditional Knowledge in Ecology

Year: 2011
Integrating research and education is a fundamental goal of research institutions and agencies but specific approaches not widely published in environmental research journals. In this study, Forest Service scientists documented the costs and benefits to the public of engaging researchers, university...

Climate space for fire occurrence and extent in Puerto Rico

Year: 2018
The cumulative effect of small frequent fires found in the Caribbean can shape large landscapes. Relationships between weather patterns and the likelihood of these fires can help understand the implications of climate change

El Yunque National Forest Atlas release

Year: 2018
Publication of an atlas about El Yunque National Forest, a collaboration between the International Institute of Tropical Forestry and El Yunque National Forest.