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Abstract Detail

Phylogenetic Comparative Methods and Approaches in Plant Science

Edwards, Erika [1].

The mega-fication of comparative biology.

A recent trend in phylogenetics is to build very large (1,000’s of taxa) phylogenies and combine these trees with basic trait and climate data in an attempt to infer “global” patterns of organismal evolution. As these sorts of studies are clearly on the rise, it might be a good time to take a step back and critique the approach, and evaluate what we have learned about plant evolution from this distanced, bird’s eye view of plant phylogeny. I’ll briefly review the rise of mega-analyses in phylogenetic biology, and highlight some empirical and methodological issues that are probably giving us some wrong answers. In our era of “Big Data”, there is often surprisingly scant and poorly sampled data included in these studies upon closer inspection. Similarly, our current tools for inferring character evolution across trees often perform quite poorly when scaling up to this size. The mega-approach is appealing, and on the surface appears powerful, but to really understand Global Patterns, the devil is still in the details.

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1 - Brown University, Box G-W, 80 Waterman St, Providence, RI, 02912, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: SY01
Location: Evergreen/Grove
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2014
Time: 11:15 AM
Number: SY01008
Abstract ID:565
Candidate for Awards:None

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