The relative positions of branching events in a phylogeny contain information about evolutionary and population dynamic processes. We provide new summary statistics of branching event times and describe how these statistics can be used to infer rates of species diversification from interspecies trees or rates of population growth from intraspecies trees. We also introduce a phylogenetic method for estimating the level of taxon sampling in a clade. Different evolutionary models and different sampling regimes can produce similar patterns of branching events, so it is important to consider explicitly the model assumptions involved when making evolutionary inferences. Results of an analysis of the phylogeny of the mosquito-borne flaviviruses suggest that there could be several thousand currently unidentified viruses in this clade.

Original publication

DOI

10.1080/10635150290102582

Type

Journal article

Journal

Systematic biology

Publication Date

12/2002

Volume

51

Pages

881 - 888

Addresses

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, UK.

Keywords

Animals, Culicidae, Flavivirus, Models, Statistical, Genetics, Population, Evolution, Molecular, Phylogeny, Models, Genetic, Time Factors, Extinction, Psychological, Biological Evolution