Summary and Info
This is the first book on "phylogenetic supertrees", a recent, but controversial development for inferring evolutionary trees. Rather than analyze the combined primary character data directly, supertree construction proceeds by combining the tree topologies derived from those data. This difference in strategy has allowed for the exciting possibility of larger, more complete phylogenies than are otherwise currently possible, with the potential to revolutionize evolutionarily-based research. This book provides a comprehensive look at supertrees, ranging from the methods used to build supertrees to the significance of supertrees to bioinformatic and biological research. Reviews of many the major supertree methods are provided and four new techniques, including a Bayesian implementation of supertrees, are described for the first time. The far-reaching impact of supertrees on biological research is highlighted both in general terms and through specific examples from diverse clades such as flowering plants, even-toed ungulates, and primates. The book also critically examines the many outstanding challenges and problem areas for this relatively new field, showing the way for supertree construction in the age of genomics. Interdisciplinary contributions from the majority of the leading authorities on supertree construction in all areas of the bioinformatic community (biology, computer sciences, and mathematics) will ensure that this book is a valuable reference with wide appeal to anyone interested in phylogenetic inference.