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Abstract Detail


Rothfels, Carl [1], Contreras, Dori [2], Sundue, Michael A [3], Looy, Cindy [4], Nagalingum, Nathalie [5], Muddiman, Benjamin [6], May, Michael [6].

Towards a timeline of vascular plant evolution: Inferring the time-calibrated phylogeny of the Marattiales using total-evidence dating under the fossilized birth-death process.

Methods for inferring divergence times from molecular phylogenies are highly contentious. The great majority of the applications of the classic "node-based" approach rely heavily on individual researchers' implicit assumptions about patterns of morphological evolution and the fossilization process. The application of these methods to understanding the evolution of vascular plants has been particularly controversial, yielding divergence time estimates often seen as incompatible with the fossil record. However, "total-evidence dating" (TED) methodologies offer the opportunity to overcome the difficulties inherent in the traditional node-based approaches, allowing for the simultaneous inference of the phylogenetic relationships of extant and extinct vascular plants, their divergence times, and their patterns of morphological evolution. As part of a broader project to infer the timeline of vascular plant evolution, we apply TED approaches to a published dataset from the Marattiales, a eusporangiate fern lineage with a deep fossil record. Our phylogeny is broadly congruent with those inferred under maximum parsimony, but the TED methodology is able to provide time-calibration and a full measure of estimate uncertainty (in the phylogeny itself, as well as in the divergence times), without a priori assumptions about the relationship of the fossils to the phylogeny of extant species. Our analyses also reveal some of the challenges in implementing TED analyses, and in particular, in applying realistic models of morphological evolution.

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1 - University Of California Berkeley, University Herbarium And Departmenty Of Integrative Biology, 1001 Valley Life Science Building, Berkeley, CA, 94720, United States
2 - University Of California Berkeley, UC Museum Of Paleontology, 1101 Valley Life Sciences, Berkeley, CA, 94720, United States
3 - University of Vermont, Department of Plant Biology, 303 Jeffords Hall, Burlington, VT, 05405, United States
4 - Integrative Biology, 3060 Valley Life Sciences Bldg #3140, Berkeley, CA, 94720, United States
5 - California Academy of Sciences, Department of Botany, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA, 94118, USA
6 - UC Berkeley, Integrative Biology, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA

divergence time estimation
early land plants
fossilized birth-death process
morphological evolution
Total Evidence Dating.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: MACRO1, Macroevolution I
Location: Tucson B/Starr Pass
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2019
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: MACRO1006
Abstract ID:633
Candidate for Awards:None

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