NEUTRAL BIODIVERSITY THEORY CAN EXPLAIN THE IMBALANCE OF PHYLOGENETIC TREES BUT NOT THE TEMPO OF THEIR DIVERSIFICATION
Article first published online: 19 MAR 2011
© 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Volume 65, Issue 7, pages 1841–1850, July 2011
How to Cite
Davies, T. J., Allen, A. P., Borda-de-Água, L., Regetz, J. and Melián, C. J. (2011), NEUTRAL BIODIVERSITY THEORY CAN EXPLAIN THE IMBALANCE OF PHYLOGENETIC TREES BUT NOT THE TEMPO OF THEIR DIVERSIFICATION. Evolution, 65: 1841–1850. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01265.x
- Issue published online: 5 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 19 MAR 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 1 MAR 2011 06:34AM EST
- Received November 24, 2009, Accepted February 5, 2011
Vol. 66, Issue 3, 942–943, Article first published online: 18 NOV 2011
- Colless’ imbalance;
- point mutation;
Numerous evolutionary studies have sought to explain the distribution of diversity across the limbs of the tree of life. At the same time, ecological studies have sought to explain differences in diversity and relative abundance within and among ecological communities. Traditionally, these patterns have been considered separately, but models that consider processes operating at the level of individuals, such as neutral biodiversity theory (NBT), can provide a link between them. Here, we compare evolutionary dynamics across a suite of NBT models. We show that NBT can yield phylogenetic tree topologies with imbalance closely resembling empirical observations. In general, metacommunities that exhibit greater disparity in abundance are characterized by more imbalanced phylogenetic trees. However, NBT fails to capture the tempo of diversification as represented by the distribution of branching events through time. We suggest that population-level processes might therefore help explain the asymmetry of phylogenetic trees, but that tree shape might mislead estimates of evolutionary rates unless the diversification process is modeled explicitly.