Phylogenies and the analysis of evolutionary sequences, with examples from seed plants

TitlePhylogenies and the analysis of evolutionary sequences, with examples from seed plants
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsDonoghue MJ
JournalEvolution
Volume43
Pagination1137-1156
ISSN00143820
KeywordsBiological Sciences, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Abstract

Studies of character evolution have frequently relied on ahistorical correlations rather than on phylogenies. However, correlations do not estimate the number of times that a trait evolved, and they are insensitive to the direction or the temporal sequence of character transformation. In contrast, cladograms can provide this information. A cladistic test of the hypothesis that the evolution of dioecy is favored in animal-dispersed plants indicates that dioecy may have originated somewhat more often in such lineages. Nevertheless, differences in rates of speciation or extinction must largely account for the observed species-level correlation between dispersal and breeding system. In considering the evolution of individual traits, cladograms help identify the context in which a feature evolved and specify which organisms should be compared in evaluating the causes of character change. Determining whether a feature and a performance advantage were strictly historically correlated or foll

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