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.