Recovering speciation and extinction dynamics based on phylogenies


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Abstract

Phylogenetic trees of only extant species contain information about the underlying speciation and extinction pattern. In this review, I provide an overview over the different methodologies that recover the speciation and extinction dynamics from phylogenetic trees. Broadly, the methods can be divided into two classes: (i) methods using the phylogenetic tree shapes (i.e. trees without branch length information) allowing us to test for speciation rate variation and (ii) methods using the phylogenetic trees with branch length information allowing us to quantify speciation and extinction rates. I end the article with an overview on limitations, open questions and challenges of the reviewed methodology.

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