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Uncertain-tree : discriminating among competing approaches to the phylogenetic analysis of phenotype data [Royal Society Open Science - Biological Sciences]

Keywords : phylogeny, Bayesian, parsimony, cladistics, morphology, palaeontology

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Morphological data provide the only means of classifying the majority of life’s history, but the choice between competing phylogenetic methods for the analysis of morphology is unclear. Traditionally, parsimony methods have been favoured but recent studies have shown that these approaches are less accurate than the Bayesian implementation of the Mk model. Here we expand on these findings in several ways : we assess the impact of tree shape and maximum-likelihood estimation using the Mk model, as well as analysing data composed of both binary and multistate characters. We find that all methods struggle to correctly resolve deep clades within asymmetric trees, and when analysing small character matrices.(...)

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