Snow Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Examination of Snow-Covered Ecosystems

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In this volume, a multidisciplinary group of acknowledged experts fully intergrate the physical, chemical, and biological sciences to provide a complete understanding of the interrelationships between snow structure and life. This volume opens a new perspecitve on snow cover as a habitat for organisms under extreme environmental conditions and as a key factor in the ecology of much of the Earth's surface. The contributors describe the fundamental physical and small-scale chemical processes that characterize the evolution of snow and their influence on the life cycles of true snow organisms and the biota of cold regions with extended snow cover. The book further expands on the role of snow in the biosphere by the study of the relationship between snow and climate and the paleo-ecological evidence for the influence of past snow regimes on plant communities. Snow Ecology will form a main textbook on advanced courses in biology, ecology, geography, environmental science, and earth science where an important component is devoted to the study of the cryosphere. It will also be useful as a reference text for graduate students, researchers, and professionals at academic institutions and in government and nongovernmental agencies with environmental concerns.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" important volume that provides easy access to the literature on a topic that has not had the attention owed to it by the research community." Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research

"...the writing is clear and clearly is an excellent guide to snow and how it affects the landscape." Canadian Field-Naturalist

"...very well informed...There is no other current volume that offers such a comprehensive examination of snow ecology, and this alone means that this one will be valuable for many years...This book will be an important resource for many years, and it should be on the bookshelf of every ecologist concerned with polar or alpine regions. As a ecologist working principally in southern latitudes where the importance of snow is exceeded by that of ice, I found much of interest and value. A difficult task that has been done well." Trends in Ecology & Evolution Vol.16 Sept 2001

"I found this book to be an interesting and informative read on a subject matter of increasing importance to the broader issue of global climate change...The literature review in each chapter is extensive..." Geoscience Canada

"Fortunately, an appreciation of the biological aspects of snow-covered ecosystems has been gaining momentum, and this book is an outstanding example of this trend... Snow Ecology is well edited, organized, and cited. The book is thorough and rich in useful resources for people interested in learning more about ecological processes occurring in and around seasonal snowpacks... It is clear to me that his book is a valuable reference and that it is likely to long serve as a source of information on this topic... This text is a pioneering contribution to snow-covered systems; it is enlightening and very readable." Christopher A. Hiemstra, Journal of the Arctic Institute of North America

An integration of the study of snow and ice in the physical, chemical and biological sciences into a multidisciplinary overview of life in, on and under snow. Written as either a reference book for academics and agencies, or as a textbook for advanced courses in biology, ecology, geography, environmental and earth sciences, the book provides an understanding of the interrelationships between snow structure and life. Topics include process and nutrient cycling in snow, microbial ecology (with an emphasis on snow algae), the effect of snow cover on small animals and vegetation, and the tree-ring dating of past snow regimes. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521584838
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2011
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.97 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Snow cover and the climate system Pavel Ya. Groisman and T. D. Davies; 2. Physical properties of snow John Pomeroy and E. Brun; 3. The chemistry of snow Martyn Tranter and H. G. Jones; 4. Microbial ecology of snow and fresh-water ice with emphasis on snow algae Ron Hoham and Brian Duval; 5. The effect of snow cover on small animals C. W. Aitchison; 6. Snow vegetation interactions in tundra environments D. A. Walker, W. D. Billings and J. G. de Molenaar; 7. Tree-ring dating of past snow regimes Yves B├ęgin and Simon Boivin; Index.

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