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Standard Sister Clade Comparison Fails when Testing Derived Character States

Jos Käfer 1 S. Mousset 
1 Sexe et évolution
PEGASE - Département PEGASE [LBBE]
Abstract : Comparing species richness in sister clades that differ in a character state is one of the ways to study factors influencing diversification. While most of its applications have focussed on traits that increase diversification, some have been used to study the association of a trait with lower species richness, e.g., the occurrence of dioecy in flowering plants. We show here, using simulations and an analytical model, that the null expectation of equal species richness that is generally used in sister clade comparisons is wrong in the case of a derived trait occurring independently from speciation: one should expect fewer species in the clade with the derived character state when there is no difference in diversification rates. This is due to the waiting time for the derived state to appear, which causes it to occur more often on longer branches. This has the important implication that the probability for a clade to possess the derived state depends on the tree geometry, and thus on species richness: species-poorer clades are more likely to possess the derived state. We develop a statistical test for sister clade comparisons to study the effect of a derived character state. Applying it to a data set of dioecious clades, we find that we cannot confirm earlier work that concluded that dioecy decreases diversification; on the contrary, it seems to be associated to higher species richness than expected. [angiosperms; dioecy; diversification; sister clades; species richness.].
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Submitted on : Friday, February 22, 2019 - 7:04:37 PM
Last modification on : Friday, March 4, 2022 - 3:00:46 PM

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Jos Käfer, S. Mousset. Standard Sister Clade Comparison Fails when Testing Derived Character States. Systematic Biology, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2014, 63 (4), pp.601-609. ⟨10.1093/sysbio/syu024⟩. ⟨hal-02046796⟩

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