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Free Content Use of paleontological and molecular data in supertrees for comparative studies: the example of lissamphibian femoral microanatomy

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A new method to assemble time-calibrated supertrees is able to incorporate paleontological and molecular dates. This method, along with new branch length transformations, is implemented in the Stratigraphic Tools for Mesquite. It was used here to analyse a dataset on bone microanatomy, body size and habitat of 46 species of lissamphibians through a variety of methods (Felsenstein independent contrasts, variance partition with phylogenetic eigenvector regression, discriminant analyses and simple regressions). Our analyses showed that the new methods can produce adequate standardization for several characters on a tree whose branch lengths can represent evolutionary time. The analyses confirmed previous conclusions about the presence of an ecological signal in bone microanatomical data.
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Keywords: Lissamphibia; bone compactness; comparative biology; geological age; molecular dating; phylogeny; supertree

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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