Exploring uncertainty in the calibration of the molecular clock

Warnock RCM, Yang Z, Donoghue PCJ (2012)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2012


Book Volume: 8

Pages Range: 156-159

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0710


Calibration is a critical step in every molecular clock analysis but it has been the least considered. Bayesian approaches to divergence time estimation make it possible to incorporate the uncertainty in the degree to which fossil evidence approximates the true time of divergence. We explored the impact of different approaches in expressing this relationship, using arthropod phylogeny as an example for which we established novel calibrations. We demonstrate that the parameters distinguishing calibration densities have a major impact upon the prior and posterior of the divergence times, and it is critically important that users evaluate the joint prior distribution of divergence times used by their dating programmes. We illustrate a procedure for deriving calibration densities in Bayesian divergence dating through the use of soft maximum constraints. © 2011 The Royal Society.

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Warnock, R.C.M., Yang, Z., & Donoghue, P.C.J. (2012). Exploring uncertainty in the calibration of the molecular clock. Biology Letters, 8(1), 156-159. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2011.0710


Warnock, Rachel C. M., Ziheng Yang, and Philip C. J. Donoghue. "Exploring uncertainty in the calibration of the molecular clock." Biology Letters 8.1 (2012): 156-159.

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