Nov 28, 2002

Statistical phylogeography

Molecular Ecology
L L Knowles, Wayne P Maddison


While studies of phylogeography and speciation in the past have largely focused on the documentation or detection of significant patterns of population genetic structure, the emerging field of statistical phylogeography aims to infer the history and processes underlying that structure, and to provide objective, rather than ad hoc explanations. Methods for parameter estimation are now commonly used to make inferences about demographic past. Although these approaches are well developed statistically, they typically pay little attention to geographical history. In contrast, methods that seek to reconstruct phylogeographic history are able to consider many alternative geographical scenarios, but are primarily nonstatistical, making inferences about particular biological processes without explicit reference to stochastically derived expectations. We advocate the merging of these two traditions so that statistical phylogeographic methods can provide an accurate representation of the past, consider a diverse array of processes, and yet yield a statistical estimate of that history. We discuss various conceptual issues associated with statistical phylogeographic inferences, considering especially the stochasticity of population genetic ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Sorting - Cell Movement
Human Geography
Contrast Used
Two-Parameter Models
Genetic Structures
Evolution, Molecular

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