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Phylogenies in EcologyA Guide to Concepts and Methods$
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Marc W. Cadotte and T. Jonathan Davies

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157689

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157689.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Detecting Patterns of Trait Evolution

Detecting Patterns of Trait Evolution

(p.100) Chapter 5 Detecting Patterns of Trait Evolution
Phylogenies in Ecology

Marc W. Cadotte

T. Jonathan Davies

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines a variety of methods for detecting the patterns of evolution of a certain trait. It first considers common metrics for evaluating phylogenetic signal and compares fit of alternative evolutionary models. When trait data deviates significantly from assumptions of Brownian motion (BM), the phylogenetic distances separating taxa on a time-calibrated tree might not accurately capture phenotypic distance between species. If we are able to identify the correct model of trait evolution, we can transform the branch lengths on the phylogenetic tree to match. Nevertheless, we might still favor using the untransformed tree because complex evolutionary models might not generalize across traits. The chapter also reviews alternative models of trait evolution, including a model of constrained evolution, multirate and multioptima models, speciational models, and white noise model. Finally, it looks at some of the common models for reconstructing ancestral states for discrete and continuous data.

Keywords:   evolution, phylogenetic signal, Brownian motion, traits, speciation, white noise, ancestral states, discrete data, continuous data, evolutionary models

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