Local adaptation to temperature and the implications for vector-borne diseases

Eleanore D. Sternberg, Matthew B. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

57 Scopus citations


Vector life-history traits and parasite development respond in strongly nonlinear ways to changes in temperature. These thermal sensitivities create the potential for climate change to have a marked impact on disease transmission. To date, most research considering impacts of climate change on vector-borne diseases assumes that all populations of a given parasite or vector species respond similarly to temperature, regardless of their source population. This may be an inappropriate assumption because spatial variation in selective pressures such as temperature can lead to local adaptation. We examine evidence for local adaptation in disease vectors and present conceptual models for understanding how local adaptation might modulate the effects of both short- and long-term changes in climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

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