Rising temperatures are leading to increased prevalence of warm-affinity species in ecosystems, known as thermophilisation. However, factors influencing variation in thermophilisation rates among taxa and ecosystems, particularly freshwater communities with high diversity and high population decline, remain unclear. We analysed compositional change over time in 7123 freshwater and 6201 terrestrial, mostly temperate communities from multiple taxonomic groups. Overall, temperature change was positively linked to thermophilisation in both realms. Extirpated species had lower thermal affinities in terrestrial communities but higher affinities in freshwater communities compared to those persisting over time. Temperature change’s impact on thermophilisation variedwith community body size, thermal niche breadth, species richness and baseline temperature; these interactive effects were idiosyncratic in the direction and magnitude of their impacts on thermophilisation, both across realms and taxonomic groups. While our findings emphasise the challenges in predicting the consequences of temperature change across communities, conservation strategies should consider these variable responses when attempting to mitigate climate-induced biodiversity loss.

Khaliq, I., Rixen, C., Zellweger, F. et al. (2024). Warming underpins community turnover in temperate freshwater and terrestrial communities. Nat Commun 15, 1921. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-46282-z