Quantifying the contribution of marine microorganisms to carbon and nitrogen cycles and their response to predicted ocean warming is one of the main challenges of microbial oceanography. Here we present a single-cell NanoSIMS isotope analysis to quantify C and N uptake by free-living and attached phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacteria, and their response to short-term experimental warming of 4 °C. Elevated temperature increased total C fixation by over 50%, a small but significant fraction of which was transferred to heterotrophs within 12 h. Cell-to-cell attachment doubled the secondary C uptake by heterotrophic bacteria and increased secondary N incorporation by autotrophs by 68%. Warming also increased the abundance of phytoplankton with attached heterotrophs by 80%, and promoted C transfer from phytoplankton to bacteria by 17% and N transfer from bacteria to phytoplankton by 50%. Our results indicate that phytoplankton-bacteria attachment provides an ecological advantage for nutrient incorporation, suggesting a mutualistic relationship that appears to be enhanced by temperature increases.