Novel Integrative Modeling of Molecules and Morphology across Evolutionary Timescales

Syst Biol. 2021 Dec 16;71(1):208-220. doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syab054.


Evolutionary models account for either population- or species-level processes but usually not both. We introduce a new model, the FBD-MSC, which makes it possible for the first time to integrate both the genealogical and fossilization phenomena, by means of the multispecies coalescent (MSC) and the fossilized birth-death (FBD) processes. Using this model, we reconstruct the phylogeny representing all extant and many fossil Caninae, recovering both the relative and absolute time of speciation events. We quantify known inaccuracy issues with divergence time estimates using the popular strategy of concatenating molecular alignments and show that the FBD-MSC solves them. Our new integrative method and empirical results advance the paradigm and practice of probabilistic total evidence analyses in evolutionary biology.[Caninae; fossilized birth-death; molecular clock; multispecies coalescent; phylogenetics; species trees.].

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution
  • Fossils
  • Genetic Speciation*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Phylogeny

Associated data

  • Dryad/10.5061/dryad.xwdbrv1d1