Blog
About

  • Record: found
  • Abstract: found
  • Article: not found

Extinction rates should not be estimated from molecular phylogenies.

Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution

Phylogeny, Models, Biological, Extinction, Biological

Read this article at

ScienceOpenPublisherPubMed
Bookmark
      There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

      Abstract

      Molecular phylogenies contain information about the tempo and mode of species diversification through time. Because extinction leaves a characteristic signature in the shape of molecular phylogenetic trees, many studies have used data from extant taxa only to infer extinction rates. This is a promising approach for the large number of taxa for which extinction rates cannot be estimated from the fossil record. Here, I explore the consequences of violating a common assumption made by studies of extinction from phylogenetic data. I show that when diversification rates vary among lineages, simple estimators based on the birth-death process are unable to recover true extinction rates. This is problematic for phylogenetic trees with complete taxon sampling as well as for the simpler case of clades with known age and species richness. Given the ubiquity of variation in diversification rates among lineages and clades, these results suggest that extinction rates should not be estimated in the absence of fossil data.

      Related collections

      Author and article information

      Journal
      10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00926.x
      20030708

      Chemistry

      Phylogeny, Models, Biological, Extinction, Biological

      Comments

      Comment on this article