Feb 7, 2008

Maximum likelihood inference of geographic range evolution by dispersal, local extinction, and cladogenesis

Systematic Biology
Richard H Ree, Stephen A Smith


In historical biogeography, model-based inference methods for reconstructing the evolution of geographic ranges on phylogenetic trees are poorly developed relative to the diversity of analogous methods available for inferring character evolution. We attempt to rectify this deficiency by constructing a dispersal-extinction-cladogenesis (DEC) model for geographic range evolution that specifies instantaneous transition rates between discrete states (ranges) along phylogenetic branches and apply it to estimating likelihoods of ancestral states (range inheritance scenarios) at cladogenesis events. Unlike an earlier version of this approach, the present model allows for an analytical solution to probabilities of range transitions as a function of time, enabling free parameters in the model, rates of dispersal, and local extinction to be estimated by maximum likelihood. Simulation results indicate that accurate parameter estimates may be difficult to obtain in practice but also show that ancestral range inheritance scenarios nevertheless can be correctly recovered with high success if rates of range evolution are low relative to the rate of cladogenesis. We apply the DEC model to a previously published, exemplary case study of island ...Continue Reading

  • References12
  • Citations472
  • References12
  • Citations472


Mentioned in this Paper

Likelihood Functions
Extinction, Species
Genetic Inheritance
Human Geography
Biological Evolution

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