Evolutionary sample size and consilience in phylogenetic comparative analysis

Jacob Gardner & Chris Organ
Phylogenetic comparative methods (PCMs) are commonly used to study evolution and adaptation. However, frequently used PCMs for discrete traits mishandle single evolutionary transitions. They erroneously detect correlated evolution in these situations. For example, hair and mammary glands cannot be said to have evolved in a correlated fashion because each evolved only once in mammals, but a commonly used model (Pagel’s Discrete) statistically supports correlated (dependent) evolution. Using simulations, we find that rate parameter estimation, which...
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