About this Research Topic
Microorganisms that live in a long-term intimate association with another species are known as symbionts. Symbiotic interactions occur throughout the tree of life and have facilitated major evolutionary transitions, making them a key component to the success of life on Earth.
However, symbiosis is not always mutually beneficial. Many symbionts selfishly promote their own fitness by manipulating several of their host’s life history traits, including fecundity, dispersal, and/or resistance to stresses caused by pathogens and environmental changes. The spread of some symbionts may additionally lead to a reduction in the host genetic diversity. These effects are particularly interesting in the context of environmental change such as seasonality, climate change and anthropogenic disturbances. By influencing the host’s life-history traits or potential to respond to natural stresses, symbiotic organisms could either exacerbate or ameliorate the effects of environmental stochasticity on their host. These variations are in turn likely to alter the eco-evolutionary population dynamics of the host species. However, how changes in the environmental conditions may challenge the bond between hosts and their symbionts remains little investigated.
This special issue will bring together diverse researchers working on the interplay between environmental changes and host-symbiont interactions, from genes to populations, using a wide range of methods, from experimental to genetics and modeling.
Keywords: Host-symbiont interactions, Climate change, Landscape fragmentation, Environmental Stress, Holobiont, Dysbiosis
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