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Theor Popul Biol. 2008 Feb;73(1):79-91. Epub 2007 Oct 12.

Testing for phylogenetic signal in phenotypic traits: new matrices of phylogenetic proximities.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, UMR CNRS 5558, Université de Lyon, Université Lyon 1, France.


Abouheif adapted a test for serial independence to detect a phylogenetic signal in phenotypic traits. We provide the exact analytic value of this test, revealing that it uses Moran's I statistic with a new matrix of phylogenetic proximities. We introduce then two new matrices of phylogenetic proximities highlighting their mathematical properties: matrix A which is used in Abouheif test and matrix M which is related to A and biodiversity studies. Matrix A unifies the tests developed by Abouheif, Moran and Geary. We discuss the advantages of matrices A and M over three widely used phylogenetic proximity matrices through simulations evaluating power and type-I error of tests for phylogenetic autocorrelation. We conclude that A enhances the power of Moran's test and is useful for unresolved trees. Data sets and routines are freely available in an online package and explained in an online supplementary file.

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