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J Evol Biol. 2004 Sep;17(5):1157-61.

Comparing phylogenetic signal in intraspecific and interspecific body size datasets.

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Archbold Biological Station, Venus, FL, USA.


Phylogenetic comparative methods have become a standard statistical approach for analysing interspecific data, under the assumption that traits of species are more similar than expected by chance (i.e. phylogenetic signal is present). Here I test for phylogenetic signal in intraspecific body size datasets to evaluate whether intraspecific datasets may require phylogenetic analysis. I also compare amounts of phylogenetic signal in intraspecific and interspecific body size datasets. Some intraspecific body size datasets contain significant phylogenetic signal. Detection of significant phylogenetic signal was dependant upon the number of populations (n) and the amount of phylogenetic signal (K) for a given dataset. Amounts of phylogenetic signal do not differ between intraspecific and interspecific datasets. Further, relationships between significance of phylogenetic signal and sample size and amount of phylogenetic signal are similar for intraspecific and interspecific datasets. Thus, intraspecific body size datasets are similar to interspecific body size datasets with respect to phylogenetic signal. Whether these results are general for all characters requires further study.

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