Life in the Cold: An Introduction to Winter Ecology, fourth edition

Life in the Cold: An Introduction to Winter Ecology, fourth edition

Peter J. Marchand

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1611684285

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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.

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hours, a similar-sized bat may sustain no more than a dozen arousals all winter, each lasting only an hour or two (this is why disturbance to bats in caves during hibernation, causing unnecessary arousal, is so threatening). Calculations based on minimum metabolic rates and the caloric value of fat suggest that the big brown bat may carry enough reserve for 190 days, while the smaller myotis species have a maximum hibernation potential of about 165 days. At the lowest end of the scale, the male

the snowpack (a). An increase in snowpack density caused by closer packing of ice grains creates more surfaces in a given volume of space to scatter light and, therefore, increases opportunity for absorption of light (b). At still higher densities, however, ice grains coalesce, reducing the amount of surface area per unit volume, and light passes through with less scattering and absorption (c). This explains the turnaround in light transmission as the snowpack undergoes metamorphism. 60 40 20 0

fed by moisture from the Baltic Sea, tree breakage under extreme snow loading, as shown here, is considered to be the major limiting factor at treeline. Photo by Kari Laine. 84  Life in the Cold Snow loading is always a potential hazard to trees and shrubs, especially in boreal forest regions where winters are characterized by periods of prolonged calm and snow remains on branches for an extended time. In northern oceanic climates where milder winter temperatures and high moisture result in

41b). For these, subfreezing temperatures and, on occasion, rapid fluctuations of body temperature across the freezing point of body fluids, are a normal occurrence. Insofar as insects often experience the same winter conditions as the plants on which they may seek refuge, it seems appropriate to raise some of the same questions we asked regarding plants and the winter environment. Do insects acclimatize to acquire cold hardiness just as plants undergo acclimation? If so, does this process

connected to a CO2 source and an infrared gas analyzer for continuous flow-through air monitoring. Winter-acclimatized voles were allowed a period of time to “settle in” to one chamber or the other, and then the CO2 level was elevated in whichever 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 Sample number 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 24 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 Figure 62  Accumulation of CO2 under the snow. CO2 levels under the snowpack

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