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Data from: Exploring the power of Bayesian birth-death skyline models to detect mass extinction events from phylogenies with only extant taxa

Citation

Culshaw, Victoria; Stadler, Tanja; Sanmartín, Isabel (2019), Data from: Exploring the power of Bayesian birth-death skyline models to detect mass extinction events from phylogenies with only extant taxa, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.qv10c62

Abstract

Mass extinction events (MEEs), defined as significant losses of species diversity in significantly short time periods, have attracted the attention of biologists because of their link to major environmental change. MEEs have traditionally been studied through the fossil record, but the development of birth-death models has made it possible to detect their signature based on extant-taxa phylogenies. Most birth-death models consider MEEs as instantaneous events where a high proportion of species are simultaneously removed from the tree ("single pulse" approach), in contrast to the paleontological record, where MEEs have a time-duration. Here, we explore the power of a Bayesian Birth-Death Skyline (BDSKY) model to detect the signature of MEEs through changes in extinction rates under a "time-slice" approach. In this approach, MEEs are time intervals where the extinction rate is greater than the speciation rate. Results showed BDSKY can detect and locate MEEs but that precision and accuracy depend on phylogenies size and MEE intensity. Comparisons of BDSKY with the single-pulse Bayesian model, CoMET, showed a similar frequency of Type II error and neither model exhibited Type I error. However, while CoMET performed better in detecting and locating MEEs for smaller phylogenies, BDSKY showed higher accuracy in estimating extinction and speciation rates.

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