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Virtually all organisms are colonized by microbes. Average temperatures are rising because of global climate change - accompanied by increases in extreme climatic events and heat shock - and symbioses with microbes may determine species persistence in the 21st century. Although parasite infection typically reduces host upper thermal limits, interactions with beneficial microbes can facilitate host adaptation to warming. The effects of warming on the ecology and evolution of the microbial symbionts remain understudied but are important for understanding how climate change might affect host health and disease. We present a framework for untangling the contributions of symbiosis to predictions of host persistence in the face of global change.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Ecol Evol

Publication Date



coevolution, heat shock, mutualist, parasite, symbiosis, thermal stress, warming