phylosignal: an R package to measure, test, and explore the phylogenetic signal

Ecol Evol. 2016 Mar 19;6(9):2774-80. doi: 10.1002/ece3.2051. eCollection 2016 May.


Phylogenetic signal is the tendency for closely related species to display similar trait values as a consequence of their phylogenetic proximity. Ecologists and evolutionary biologists are becoming increasingly interested in studying the phylogenetic signal and the processes which drive patterns of trait values in the phylogeny. Here, we present a new R package, phylosignal which provides a collection of tools to explore the phylogenetic signal for continuous biological traits. These tools are mainly based on the concept of autocorrelation and have been first developed in the field of spatial statistics. To illustrate the use of the package, we analyze the phylogenetic signal in pollution sensitivity for 17 species of diatoms.

Keywords: Autocorrelation; R software; comparative analysis; phylogenetic correlogram; phylogenetic signal; trait evolution.