Life in the Cold

An Introduction to Winter Ecology, fourth edition

Peter J. Marchand

Peter J. Marchand’s Life in the Cold remains the one book that offers a comprehensive picture of the interactions of plants and animals—including humans—with their cold-weather environment. Focusing on the problems of “winter-active” organisms, Marchand illuminates the many challenges of sustaining life in places that demand extraordinary adaptations. The fourth edition of this classic text includes a new chapter on climate change and its effects on plants and animals wintering in the North.

Paper: $29.95 | E-book: $27.99
ISBN-13: 9781611684285
Pages: 320 | Size: 6 in. x 9 in.
Date Published: January 7, 2014


  • An ideal entry to winter ecology. It provides basic information, in a clear manner, about snowpack, plant and animal mechanisms of winter survival on land and in fresh water, plant–animal interactions in the cold, and human reactions to cold . . . Should be in all undergraduate and public libraries where people encounter snow and ice.

  • Teachers and naturalists will find Life in the Cold a valuable resource in their work; college level students can use it to supplement texts in ecology or field biology . . . A thoroughly useful and delightful book!

    Nature Study
  • Scientifically based and well-researched and well-written in a style intended for a general audience . . . I found it absolutely fascinating. For one who enjoys nature in winter and thinks she knows something about it, this book turned up lots of information on topics I hadn't even thought of.

    Maine Sunday Telegram
  • Marchand believes that winter is unfairly misunderstood, associated with 'stillness, darkness, and death.' Yet as each spring attests, living things somehow manage to reappear. To determine how, the ecologist spent 13 long and lonesome winters outdoors, traveling by snowshoe in Vermont and Colorado's Rockies studying the forces of winter and the ways that plants and animals cope with extreme cold, dryness, decreased sunlight, and severe conditions. In this book Marchand bolsters his own work with research from physics, meteorology, plant and animal physiology, and physical chemistry. But he pulls it all together admirably into a panoramic view of the winter ecosystem. He discovers many fascinating facts and destroys lots of preconceptions.

    Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Peter J. Marchand

Peter J. Marchand is trained in earth sciences and ecosystem analysis. He earned his doctorate studying winter stresses at tree line in the northern Appalachian Mountains, and has devoted much of his career to investigating all aspects of winter ecology. He currently resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where he serves as principal investigator at the Catamount Center Biological Field Station. In addition to Life in the Cold, he is the author of Nature Guide to the …

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