Models of thermal adaptation generally ignore selective pressures imposed by the interactions among genotypes. This view should be replaced by the concept of a thermal game, in which the optimal strategy of thermosensitivity, thermoregulation, or acclimation depends on the strategies of other organisms. Models of thermal games predict patterns of adaptation that differ drastically from the patterns generated by traditional optimality models. Natural selection might favour a very low accuracy of thermoregulation when an organism must deal with competitors or predators. The same ecological interactions can shape the evolution of performance curves in surprising ways. For example, competition can cause the thermal optimum to deviate from the mean environmental temperature. Furthermore, predation can cause endless cycles of adaptation in which the thermal optima of predators and prey rarely match their mean temperatures. Equally novel insights will likely emerge from the analysis of other thermal games.
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