The microbial world in a changing environment

Rafael Vicuña, Bernardo González

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

10 Scopus citations


Background: In this article we would like to touch on the key role played by the microbiota in the maintenance of a sustainable environment in the entire planet. For obvious reasons, this article does not intend to review thoroughly this extremely complex topic, but rather to focus on the main threats that this natural scenario is presently facing. Methods: Recent literature survey. Results: Despite the relevance of microorganisms have in our planet, the effects of climate change on microbial communities have been scarcely and not systematically addressed in literature. Although the role of microorganisms in emissions of greenhouse gases has received some attention, there are several microbial processes that are affected by climate change with consequences that are presently under assessment. Among them, host-pathogen interactions, the microbiome of built environment, or relations among plants and beneficial microbes. Conclusions: Further research is required to advance in knowledge of the effect of climate change on microbial communities. One of the main targets should be a complete evaluation of the global microbial functional diversity and the design of new strategies to cope with limitations in methods to grow microorganisms in the laboratory. These efforts should contribute to raise a general public awareness on the major role played by the microbiota on the various Earth ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalRevista Chilena de Historia Natural
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Biogeochemical cycles
  • Climate change
  • Functional diversity
  • Microbial biodiversity
  • Pollution


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