|Title||A Measure of the Information Content of Phylogenetic Trees and Its Use as an Optimality Criterion |
|Publication Type||Journal Article |
|Year of Publication||1986 |
|Authors||Brooks DR, O'Grady RT, Wiley, III EO |
|Journal||Systematic Zoology |
|Keywords||Biophysics - Biocybernetics, Computational Biology Evolution and Adaptation General Life Studies Models and Simulations 00504, Evolution 04500, General biology - Taxonomy, Mathematical biology and statistical methods 10515, nomenclature and terminology 01500 |
|Abstract||The D measure is presented as a quantification of historical constraints in phylogenetic data. It is derived from information-theoretic considerations, and offers increased resolution of the criteria used in parsimony analyses. Thus, it can be used as an optimality measure in phylogenetic studies. The D measure is more sensitive to the evolutionary nature (symplesiomorphy, synapomorphy, autapomorphy) of characters on trees than two commonly used phylogenetic optimality measures: the consistency index; and the F-ratio. The consistency index does not distinguish between shared and unique characters on a tree. The F-ratio is affected by factors relevant to undirected, rather than directed, trees. Neither the D measure nor the F-ratio are biased a priori towards choosing postulates of reversal or parallelism in equal-length trees. Neither the D means nor the F-ratio always indicate the shortest tree when used alone. The D measure can be used to choose among equal-length shortest trees that have been produced by standard parsimony techniques.