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      The phylogeny and limits of Elateridae (Insecta, Coleoptera): is there a common tendency of click beetles to soft-bodiedness and neoteny? : The phylogeny of Elateridae

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      Zoologica Scripta
      Wiley-Blackwell

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          A comprehensive phylogeny of beetles reveals the evolutionary origins of a superradiation.

          Beetles represent almost one-fourth of all described species, and knowledge about their relationships and evolution adds to our understanding of biodiversity. We performed a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of Coleoptera inferred from three genes and nearly 1900 species, representing more than 80% of the world's recognized beetle families. We defined basal relationships in the Polyphaga supergroup, which contains over 300,000 species, and established five families as the earliest branching lineages. By dating the phylogeny, we found that the success of beetles is explained neither by exceptional net diversification rates nor by a predominant role of herbivory and the Cretaceous rise of angiosperms. Instead, the pre-Cretaceous origin of more than 100 present-day lineages suggests that beetle species richness is due to high survival of lineages and sustained diversification in a variety of niches.
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            CONSEL: for assessing the confidence of phylogenetic tree selection

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              The Effect of Ambiguous Data on Phylogenetic Estimates Obtained by Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference

              Abstract Although an increasing number of phylogenetic data sets are incomplete, the effect of ambiguous data on phylogenetic accuracy is not well understood. We use 4-taxon simulations to study the effects of ambiguous data (i.e., missing characters or gaps) in maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian frameworks. By introducing ambiguous data in a way that removes confounding factors, we provide the first clear understanding of 1 mechanism by which ambiguous data can mislead phylogenetic analyses. We find that in both ML and Bayesian frameworks, among-site rate variation can interact with ambiguous data to produce misleading estimates of topology and branch lengths. Furthermore, within a Bayesian framework, priors on branch lengths and rate heterogeneity parameters can exacerbate the effects of ambiguous data, resulting in strongly misleading bipartition posterior probabilities. The magnitude and direction of the ambiguous data bias are a function of the number and taxonomic distribution of ambiguous characters, the strength of topological support, and whether or not the model is correctly specified. The results of this study have major implications for all analyses that rely on accurate estimates of topology or branch lengths, including divergence time estimation, ancestral state reconstruction, tree-dependent comparative methods, rate variation analysis, phylogenetic hypothesis testing, and phylogeographic analysis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Zoologica Scripta
                Wiley-Blackwell
                03003256
                July 2011
                July 13 2011
                : 40
                : 4
                : 364-378
                Article
                10.1111/j.1463-6409.2011.00476.x
                a7b6931e-9558-4b55-a8c8-076e8f7fe2e0
                © 2011

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1

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