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Detecting Non-Brownian Trait Evolution in Adaptive Radiations

Freckleton, R.P. and Harvey, P.H. (2006) Detecting Non-Brownian Trait Evolution in Adaptive Radiations. PLoS Biology, 4 (11). e373. ISSN 1544-9173


Many phylogenetic comparative methods that are currently widely used in the scientific literature assume a Brownian motion model for trait evolution, but the suitability of that model is rarely tested, and a number of important factors might affect whether this model is appropriate or not. For instance, we might expect evolutionary change in adaptive radiations to be driven by the availability of ecological niches. Such evolution has been shown to produce patterns of change that are different from those modelled by the Brownian process. We applied two tests for the assumption of Brownian motion that generally have high power to reject data generated under non-Brownian niche-filling models for the evolution of traits in adaptive radiations. As a case study, we used these tests to explore the evolution of feeding adaptations in two radiations of warblers. In one case, the patterns revealed do not accord with Brownian motion but show characteristics expected under certain niche-filling models.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2006 Freckleton and Harvey. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > School of Biological Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Animal and Plant Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Sheffield Import
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2009 16:00
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 01:16
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0040373
Status: Published
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0040373
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10039

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