Phylogenies and community ecology

TitlePhylogenies and community ecology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsWebb CO, Ackerly DD, McPeek MA, Donoghue MJ
JournalAnnual Review of Ecology and Systematics
KeywordsBiological Sciences, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

As better phylogenetic hypotheses become available for many groups of organisms, studies in community ecology can be informed by knowledge of the evolutionary relationships among coexisting species. We note three primary approaches to integrating phylogenetic information into studies of community organization: 1. examining the phylogenetic structure of community assemblages, 2. exploring the phylogenetic basis of community niche structure, and 3. adding a community context to studies of trait evolution and biogeography. We recognize a common pattern of phylogenetic conservatism in ecological character and highlight the challenges of using phylogenies of partial lineages. We also review phylogenetic approaches to three emergent properties of communities: species diversity, relative abundance distributions, and range sizes. Methodological advances in phylogenetic supertree construction, character reconstruction, null models for community assembly and character evolution, and metrics of