Tempo of Diversification of Global Amphibians: One-Constant Rate, One-Continuous Shift or Multiple-Discrete Shifts?

  • Chen, Youhua (Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia)
  • Received : 2013.06.13
  • Accepted : 2013.11.02
  • Published : 2014.01.31


In this brief report, alternative time-varying diversification rate models were fitted onto the phylogeny of global amphibians by considering one-constant-rate (OCR), one-continuous-shift (OCS) and multiple-discrete- shifts (MDS) situations. The OCS diversification model was rejected by ${\gamma}$ statistic (${\gamma}=-5.556$, p<0.001), implying the existence of shifting diversification rates for global amphibian phylogeny. Through model selection, MDS diversification model outperformed OCS and OCR models using "laser" package under R environment. Moreover, MDS models, implemented using another R package "MEDUSA", indicated that there were sixteen shifts over the internal nodes for amphibian phylogeny. Conclusively, both OCS and MDS models are recommended to compare so as to better quantify rate-shifting trends of species diversification. MDS diversification models should be preferential for large phylogenies using "MEDUSA" package in which any arbitrary numbers of shifts are allowed to model.


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