Consensus trees are required to summarise trees obtained through MCMC sampling of a posterior distribution, providing an overview of the distribution of estimated parameters such as topology, branch lengths and divergence times. Numerous consensus tree construction methods are available, each presenting a different interpretation of the tree sample. The rise of morphological clock and sampled-ancestor methods of divergence time estimation, in which times and topology are co-estimated, has increased the popularity of the maximum clade credibility (MCC) consensus tree method. The MCC method assumes that the sampled, fully resolved topology with the highest clade credibility contains an adequate summary of the most probable clades, with parameter estimates from compatible sampled trees used to obtain the marginal distributions of parameters such as clade ages and branch lengths. Using both simulated and empirical data, we demonstrate that MCC trees, and trees constructed using the similar maximum a posteriori (MAP) method, often include poorly supported and incorrect clades when summarising diffuse posterior samples of trees. We demonstrate that the paucity of information in morphological datasets contributes to the inability of MCC and MAP trees to present an accurate summary of the posterior distribution. Conversely, majority-rule consensus (MRC) trees report a lower proportion of incorrect nodes when summarising the same posterior samples of trees. Thus, we advocate the use of MRC trees, in place of MCC or MAP trees, in attempts to summarise the results of Bayesian phylogenetic analyses of morphological data.,Hist_1000_CharsThe number of incorrect nodes found within each consensus subtracted from the number of correct nodes found tree within the same consensus trees constructed from 100 replicate matrices of 1000 morphological characters.Hist_10000_CharsThe number of incorrect nodes found within each consensus subtracted from the number of correct nodes found tree within the same consensus trees constructed from 100 replicate matrices of 10000 morphological characters.Mol_OnlyMajority rule (MRC), maximum a posteriori (MAP), and maximum clade credibility (MCC) consensus trees for Hymenoptera constructed from a posterior sample of trees obtained when only molecularl data was analysed.CombinedMajority rule (MRC), maximum a posteriori (MAP), and maximum clade credibility (MCC) consensus trees for Hymenoptera constructed from a posterior sample of trees obtained when both morphological and molecular data were analysed.BoxPlot_1000_CharsThe number and proportion of correct and incorrect clades presented in consensus trees constructed from 100 replicate matrices of 1000 simulated characters.BoxPlot_10000_CharsThe number and proportion of correct and incorrect clades presented in consensus trees constructed from 100 replicate matrices of 10000 simulated characters.Generator_treeTree used to simulate data,
Date made available | 25 Oct 2017 |
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Publisher | Dryad |
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