pp 1–11 | Cite as

The scale of symbiosis

  • Klara ScharnaglEmail author


At the 2018 International Symbiosis Society Congress research was shared on symbioses across a wide variety of scales, from the temporal to the spatial, and from the very small to the very large. Advances in our technologies and computational abilities have enabled us to probe deeper than ever before into the nature of symbiosis, revealing a tremendous diversity, novel associations, and a deeper understanding of the initiation and maintenance of symbioses over time. Researchers at ISSC 2018 also discussed the importance of symbiosis in human society and culture, particularly as we attempt to understand and mediate the impacts of global climate change. Despite the prevalence of symbioses across temporal, interaction, spatial, predictive and social scales, symbiosis remains relegated to a subtopic or afterthought within biological research. It is time to bring symbiosis to the fore of biological thinking; to move symbiosis from a mere component of larger questions in ecology and evolution to the lens through which we address those questions.


Ecology Evolution Scale Continuum 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant BiologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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