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Repetitive sequences in phylogeographic inference: a reply to Saltonstall and Lambertini (2012)



Joanna Freeland, Fax: 001–705–748–1003; E-mail:


In 2011, Vachon and Freeland presented the results of a study that illustrated the importance of considering mutation patterns, including the potential for homoplasy, when deciding whether to include or exclude repetitive sequences from phylogeographic inferences. Saltonstall and Lambertini (2012) criticized this study by suggesting that some of the analyses and interpretations were flawed. In this reply, we explain why we disagree with most of their criticisms and identify some inconsistencies in their analyses. Most importantly, we reiterate the need to examine underlying assumptions, particularly with respect to mutation patterns, when using molecular genetic data to untangle evolutionary relationships.