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Int J Parasitol. 2001 Jul;31(9):1012-22.

Analytical approaches to measuring cospeciation of host and parasites: through a glass, darkly.

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  • 1Ecology and Entomology Group, Lincoln University, P.O. Box 84, Lincoln, New Zealand.


Studies of cophylogenetic associations between hosts and parasites have become increasingly common. Historically, congruence between host and parasite phylogenies has been seen as evidence for cospeciation. Analyses of such coevolutionary relationships, however, are made extremely difficult by the complex interplay of cospeciation, host switching, sorting (extinction), duplication (intrahost speciation) and inertia (lack of parasite speciation) events, all of which may produce incongruence between host and parasite phylogenies. Here we review several methods of analysing cospeciation. We illustrate these methods with an example from a Procellariiformes (seabird) and chewing louse (Halipeurus) association.

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