Abstract : Bacteria play a key role in biogeochemical cycles. While the effect of winter snow cover in function and composition of soil bacterial communities has been reported, the effect of spatio-temporal variation of snow cover remains to be studied. In this study, we characterised the spatio-temporal dynamics of bacterial communities from two sites at the extremes of a snow cover gradient. We used molecular (SSCP and cloning/sequencing) and traditional (bacterial isolation by culture) approaches. The presented results show that the overall bacterial diversity, composition and phylogenetic structure are strongly related to snow cover duration. Moreover, these effects are also detectable during the plant productive season. The biotic and abiotic factors (i.e. plant senescence and soil pH) play an essential role leading to the clustering of certain bacterial clades (Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, α- and β-Proteobacteria). During the plant productive season, the bacterial clades are overdispersed. The preset study shows that, at a fine taxonomic level, the temporal variation is more important than the change over space. At higher taxonomic levels (i.e. sub-phylum), the space are more important than temporal variations. Only a minor fraction of the total bacterial diversity is cultivable, and may bacterial groups be overrepresented in culture plates. This study provides new insights in role of snow cover in bacterial communities' distribution and role of winter. This study may be useful in predicting of bacterial behaviour in nutrient cycle in a context of global warming.