Do early branching lineages signify ancestral traits?

Crisp, Michael D. and Cook, Lyn G. (2005) Do early branching lineages signify ancestral traits?. Trends In Ecology & Evolution, 20 3: 122-128. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2004.11.010

Author Crisp, Michael D.
Cook, Lyn G.
Title Do early branching lineages signify ancestral traits?
Journal name Trends In Ecology & Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0169-5347
Publication date 2005-03
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1016/j.tree.2004.11.010
Volume 20
Issue 3
Start page 122
End page 128
Total pages 7
Editor Katrina A. Lythgoe
Place of publication Cambridge, U.K.
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 06 Biological Sciences
Formatted abstract
A reverence for ancestors that has pre-occupied humans since time immemorial persists to the present. Reconstructing ancestry is the focus of many biological studies but failure to distinguish between present-day descendants and long-dead ancestors has led to incorrect interpretation of phylogenetic trees. This has resulted in erroneous reconstruction of traits such as morphology and ancestral areas. Misinterpretation becomes evident when authors use the terms 'basal' or 'early diverging' to refer to extant taxa. Here, we discuss the correct interpretation of trees and methods for reconstructing the ancestral features of organisms using recently developed statistical models. These models can be inaccurate unless they use information that is independent of phylogenies, such as genetics, molecular and developmental biology, functional morphology, geological and climatic processes, and the fossil record.
© 2004 Elsevier Ltd.
Keyword Ecology
Evolutionary biology
Genetics & Heredity
Dna C-values
Flowering plants
Basal angiosperm
Historical biogeography
Mitochondrial genomes
Phylogenetic analysis
Chloroplast genome
Character states
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 13 December 2004. Published under "Opinion".

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 89 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 85 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2007, 15:03:53 EST