Evol Ecol Res 7: 567-579 (2005)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Endless tests: guidelines for analysing non-nested sister-group comparisons

Steven M. Vamosi* and Jana C. Vamosi

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: smvamosi@ucalgary.ca


Question: How can we best use phylogenies and sister-group comparisons to understand the impact of ecological and life-history traits on diversification rates?

Analysis: Brief review of the basic structure of sister-group comparisons. Description of the sign, Slowinski-Guyer and species-diversity contrast tests. Elucidation of the potential shortcomings of these tests.

Conclusions: The Slowinski-Guyer test has statistical flaws and should no longer be used to analyse hypotheses about the effects of traits on diversification rates. Species-diversity contrast tests are the most conservative, yet powerful, methods for analysing sister-group comparisons.

Keywords: diversification, key innovation, sister-group comparison, Slowinski-Guyer test.

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