Disentangling the fundamental branching patterns of phylogenetic divergence to refine eco‐phylogenetic analyses

Molina-Venegas, Rafael; Fischer, Markus; Hemp, Andreas (2019). Disentangling the fundamental branching patterns of phylogenetic divergence to refine eco‐phylogenetic analyses. Journal of biogeography, 46(12), pp. 2722-2734. Wiley 10.1111/jbi.13692

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Aim: Previous studies have shown that phylogenetic divergence (i.e. the average phylogenetic displacement between species in a community) is highly sensitive to the underlying branching patterns of phylogenies, suggesting that there is a need to integrate both facets of phylogenic information to obtain a better understanding of assemblage structure. Here, we formally conceptualize the three fundamental branching patterns that can drive phylogenetic divergence, and propose a method to identify their signature in the communities based on the mean pairwise distance (MPD) metric. Location: Global. Taxa: All. Methods: Our approach consists of the joint interpretation of two MPD-derived metrics that summarize the differential contribution of individual phylogenetic branches to the observed divergence, which serves to evaluate to what extent the later emerges from contrasting branching patterns. We conduct simulation analyses to compare our two metrics with eight classical descriptors of phylogenetic structure, and use multi-strata tropical plant communities along a gradient of land use intensity (LUI) to further illustrate our method. Results: As expected, our metrics correlated to some extent with the classical descriptors of phylogenetic structure, although the relationships were complex and varied systematically with species richness and the specific combination of metric values considered. Consequently, the information provided by our two indexes was only partially captured by their most correlated classical descriptors. We detected differential signatures of the fundamental branching patterns in our real-world dataset, either across vegetation strata and also within strata along the LUI gradient, which provided greater insight into potential assembly mechanisms. Main conclusions: While the sole use of phylogenetic divergence may lead to spurious interpretations in eco-phylogenetic studies, our approach can help to obtain a better understanding of assemblage structure by systematically analyzing phylogenetic divergence in the light of its fundamental branching patterns.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Molina Venegas, Rafael and Fischer, Markus

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0305-0270

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

04 Sep 2019 11:18

Last Modified:

07 Jan 2021 11:20

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/jbi.13692

Uncontrolled Keywords:

branching pattern; community assembly; eco‐phylogenetics; jackknife; MPD; phylogenetic divergence

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.132948

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/132948

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