Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Picante's coming out party

This past decade has seen a rapid expansion of the use of evolutionary phylogenies in ecological studies. This expansion is largely due to the increased availability of phylogenies, but has resulted in new types of hypotheses and statistics aimed to test the phylogenetic patterns underpinning ecological communities. The main computational tool used has been phylocom, created by Cam Webb, David Ackerly and Steve Kembel, which has its own binaries to be installed on one’s computer. However, a new R package, picante has been created by Steve Kembel and colleagues which runs many of the same routines as in phylocom, but in the R framework, allowing one to tie these analyses in better with other, non-phylogenetic tests. Picante also has a number of features and tests not found in phylocom, including tests of phylobetadiversity and phylogenetic signal using Blomberg’s K.

Thanks Steve for all your hard work and for making these tests available to everyone.

Kembel, S., Cowan, P., Helmus, M., Cornwell, W., Morlon, H., Ackerly, D., Blomberg, S., & Webb, C. (2010). Picante: R tools for integrating phylogenies and ecology Bioinformatics DOI: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btq166

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