The phylogenetic signal in tooth wear: What does it mean?

Larisa DeSantis, Mikael Fortelius, Frederick Grine, Christine Janis, Thomas Kaiser, Gildas Merceros, Mark Purnell, Ellen Schulz‐Kornas, Juha Saarinen, Mark Teaford, Peter Ungar, Indre Zliobaite

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


A new study by Fraser et al (2018) urges the use of phylogenetic comparative methods, whenever possible, in analyses of mammalian tooth wear. We are concerned about this for two reasons. First, this recommendation may mislead the research community into thinking that phylogenetic signal is an artifact of some sort rather than a fundamental outcome of the evolutionary process. Secondly, this recommendation may set a precedent for editors and reviewers to enforce phylogenetic adjustment where it may unnecessarily weaken or even directionally alter the results, shifting the emphasis of analysis from common patterns manifested by large clades to rare cases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number22
Pages (from-to)11359-11362
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
  • mesowear
  • microwear
  • phylogenetic methods
  • tooth wear
  • DIET

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