Autumn: A Season of Change

Front Cover
UPNE, 2000 - Nature - 151 pages

An expert on winter now turns his talents to autumn, a season of beauty and change. Author of the award-winning Life in the Cold, Peter J. Marchand examines the natural and biological phenomena of fall. With Marchand as your guide, fall becomes much more than trees turning, killing frosts, birds migrating, and invigorating crisp weather. Dig under the fallen leaves and heavy mists with him to discover a vibrant world. Readers learn the whys and wherefores of these events, but much much more, as Marchand answers questions most non-specialists have about how and why such changes and adaptations occur.

Though autumn may appear to be primarily a transitional season, he shows how many remarkable and essential natural processes happen routinely only during this period. He describes such topics as timekeeping in plants and animals, food hoarding, seed dispersal, and animal mating behavior among the large mammals of the North. The book is organized by theme rather than by species, so that similar adaptation mechanisms of different species can be compared and contrasted.

Marchand has a demonstrated skill in making scientific facts easily understood, while also conveying the beauty and wonder of what he describes. Also an accomplished photographer, his many beautiful full-page photographs show unusual aspects of the season.


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About the author (2000)

PETER MARCHAND is a field biologist trained in both earth sciences and systems ecology at the University of New Hampshire. He earned his doctorate investigating physiological limits to tree growth at timberline and then devoted much of his career to the study of diverse forest, tundra, and, more recently, desert ecosystems, traveling widely throughout North America and Europe. His research interests often focus on winter phenomena; his book Life in the Cold (University Press of New England) is now in its third edition. But autumn, he says, has always been his favorite season for the fascinating changes taking place at this time of year. Currently a Visiting Professor at Colorado College and a frequent contributor to Natural History, Peter has conducted field research and shared his love of science with others for over 20 years. He calls Arizona home now ("when I'm not somewhere else"), where he ranges from low deserts to high mountain tops following his passion for the study of life at the extremes

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