We present a multispecies coalescent model for quantitative traits that allows for evolutionary inferences at micro- and macroevolutionary scales. A major advantage of this model is its ability to incorporate genealogical discordance underlying a quantitative trait. We show that discordance causes a decrease in the expected trait covariance between more closely related species relative to more distantly related species. If unaccounted for, this outcome can lead to an overestimation of a trait's evolutionary rate, to a decrease in its phylogenetic signal, and to errors when examining shifts in mean trait values. The number of loci controlling a quantitative trait appears to be irrelevant to all trends reported, and discordance also affected discrete, threshold traits. Our model and analyses point to the conditions under which different methods should fare better or worse, in addition to indicating current and future approaches that can mitigate the effects of discordance.
Simulated data can be found at: https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m2s1735
Data from: A multispecies coalescent model for quantitative traitsAvailable at Dryad Digital Repository under a CC0 Public Domain Dedication.
- Matthew W. Hahn
- Joshua G Schraiber
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Antonis Rokas, Vanderbilt University, United States
© 2018, Mendes et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.