Phylogenetic Comparative Methods and the Evolution of Multivariate Phenotypes

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2019-11-01
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Adams, Dean
Collyer, Michael
Adams, Dean
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Evolutionary biology is multivariate, and advances in phylogenetic comparative methods for multivariate phenotypes have surged to accommodate this fact. Evolutionary trends in multivariate phenotypes are derived from distances and directions between species in a multivariate phenotype space. For these patterns to be interpretable, phenotypes should be characterized by traits in commensurate units and scale. Visualizing such trends, as is achieved with phylomorphospaces, should continue to play a prominent role in macroevolutionary analyses. Evaluating phylogenetic generalized least squares (PGLS) models (e.g., phylogenetic analysis of variance and regression) is valuable, but using parametric procedures is limited to only a few phenotypic variables. In contrast, nonparametric, permutation-based PGLS methods provide a flexible alternative and are thus preferred for high-dimensional multivariate phenotypes. Permutation-based methods for evaluating covariation within multivariate phenotypes are also well established and can test evolutionary trends in phenotypic integration. However, comparing evolutionary rates and modes in multivariate phenotypes remains an important area of future development.

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<p>Posted with permission from the <em>Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics</em>, Volume 50© by Annual Reviews, http://www.annualreviews.org.</p>
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