Macroevolutionary dynamics describing . . .


to us, till we have discovered the Alphabet by which they are to be read. ” (Whewell 1847) iii The increasing availability of phylogenetic data and processing power can lead us, as never before, to better understand macroevolutionary processes such as speciation and extinction. However, appropriate models are required. Many models which can explain empirical tree imbalance lack mathematical simplicity and biological foundation. On the other hand, models that are biologically plausible generally do not fit well to empirical trees. Thus we present a general, simple, flexible and biologically motivated stochastic model that accounts for distinct speciation and extinction probability distributions. Moreover we provide two general simulation models (symmetric and asymmetric) inspired by distinct speciation modes. By comparing simulated trees with almost 3000 fully resolved empirical species trees, we seek for (i) patterns on speciation and extinctio

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