Branch Lengths on Birth-Death Trees and the Expected Loss of Phylogenetic Diversity

Arne Mooers 1, * Olivier Gascuel 2 Tanja Stadler 3 Heyang Li 4 Mike Steel 4
* Auteur correspondant
2 MAB - Méthodes et Algorithmes pour la Bioinformatique
LIRMM - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier
Abstract : Diversification is nested, and early models suggested this could lead to a great deal of evolutionary redundancy in the Tree of Life. This result is based on a particular set of branch lengths produced by the common coalescent, where pendant branches leading to tips can be very short compared to branches deeper in the tree. Here, we analyze alternative and more realistic Yule and birth-death models. We show how censoring at the present both makes average branches one half what we might expect and makes pendant and interior branches roughly equal in length. Although dependent on whether we condition on the size of the tree, its age, or both, these results hold both for the Yule model and for birth-death models with moderate extinction. Importantly, the rough equivalency in interior and exterior branch lengths means the loss of evolutionary history with loss of species can be roughly linear. Under these models, the Tree of Life may offer limited redundancy in the face of ongoing species loss.
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Soumis le : samedi 7 juillet 2012 - 09:26:14
Dernière modification le : jeudi 11 janvier 2018 - 06:26:13
Document(s) archivé(s) le : lundi 8 octobre 2012 - 02:20:34


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Arne Mooers, Olivier Gascuel, Tanja Stadler, Heyang Li, Mike Steel. Branch Lengths on Birth-Death Trees and the Expected Loss of Phylogenetic Diversity. Systematic Biology, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2012, 61 (2), pp.195-203. 〈10.1093/sysbio/syr090〉. 〈lirmm-00715445〉



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