SUPERSMART: ecology and evolution in the era of big data [post]

Alexandre Antonelli, Fabien L. Condamine, Hannes Hettling, Karin Nilsson, R Henrik Nilsson, Bengt Oxelman, Michael J Sanderson, Hervé Sauquet, Ruud Scharn, Daniele Silvestro, Mats Töpel, Rutger A Vos
2014 unpublished
Rapidly growing biological data volumes – including molecular sequences, species traits, geographic occurrences, specimen collections, and fossil records – hold an unprecedented, yet largely unexplored potential to reveal how ecological and evolutionary processes generate and maintain biodiversity. Most biodiversity studies integrating ecological data and evolutionary history use an idiosyncratic step-by-step approach for the reconstruction of time-calibrated phylogenies in light of ecological
more » ... nd evolutionary scenarios. Here we introduce a conceptual framework, termed SUPERSMART (Self-Updating Platform for Estimating Rates of Speciation and Migration, Ages, and Relationships of Taxa), and provide a proof of concept for dealing with the moving targets of biodiversity research. This framework reconstructs dated phylogenies based on the assembly of molecular datasets and collects pertinent data on ecology, distribution, and fossils of the focal clade. The data handled for each step are continuously updated as databases accumulate new records. We exemplify the practice of our method by presenting comprehensive phylogenetic and dating analyses for the orders Primates and the Gentianales. We believe that this emerging framework will provide an invaluable tool for a wide range of hypothesis-driven research questions in ecology and evolution.
doi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.501v1 fatcat:ctjosf4nkbei5elhxcz2lhlowu