Mercredi 25
Introduction aux MPC

› 10:50 - 11:30 (40min)
Birds, bones, and statistics: A practical introduction to phylogenetic comparative analysis
Lucas Legendre  1@  
1 : National Museum, Bloemfontein
36 Aliwal St. Bloemfontein 9301 -  Afrique du Sud

Phylogenetic comparative methods (PCMs) have become an essential part of systematics and evolutionary biology for more than a decade, and an increasing number of communications in research conferences include entire sections dedicated to methodological considerations on this matter. Most of these communications, however, do not provide extensive information on the choice of a particular method, nor on their statistical assumptions. Neophytes might easily lose track of the specific steps of a given procedure mentioned during this process, which might prevent further communication on such subjects, especially between scientists working in different research communities.

In this talk, I review the main assumptions and most frequent issues one might face when performing some of the most commonly used PCMs (phylogenetic generalized least squares, phylogenetic analysis of variance and covariance), using a recent case study I co-authored as a main example. This case study was performed on a bone histological dataset measured on a sample of extant birds, to estimate the functional link between their bone microstructure and flight type in a phylogenetic context. For that purpose, a step-by-step procedure following the problematics encountered during the redaction of the original study will be presented, as well as common misconceptions and usual associated “tricks”, thus providing an introductory framework for phylogenetic comparative analysis.


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