Phylogenies and comparative data, a microevolutionary perspective.

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22 Scopus citations


As species evolve along a phylogenetic tree, their phenotypes diverge. We expect closely related species to retain some phenotypic similarities owing to their shared evolutionary histories. The degree of similarity depends both on the phylogeny and on the detailed evolutionary changes that accumulate each generation. In this study, I review a general framework that can be used to translate between macroevolutionary patterns and the underlying microevolutionary process by comparing the observed relationships among measured species phenotypes and the expected relationship structure due to the phylogeny and underlying models of phenotypic evolution. I then show how the framework can be used to compare methods used (1) to reconstruct phylogenies, (2) to correct comparative data for phylogenetic non-independence, and (3) to infer details of the microevolutionary process from interspecific data and a phylogeny. Use of this framework and a microevolutionary perspective on the analysis of interspecific data opens up new fields of inquiry and many new uses for phylogenies and comparative data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalPhilosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
Issue number1327
StatePublished - Jul 29 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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